China protests USA sanctions on shipping firms

Seoul sought to keep the door open to more contact

The two Koreas agreed to open the office during a historic April summit between Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to ease tensions between the two countries still technically at war.

North Korean officials walked out of a high-profile inter-Korean liaison office on Friday in the latest sign of Pyongyang anger in the aftermath of the failed North Korea-United States summit in Hanoi last month. Please refresh the page for the fullest version. -North Korea summit in February that collapsed due to disputes over USA -led sanctions on the North.

The U.S.is placing sanctions on two Chinese shipping companies after alleging they helped North Korea evade worldwide trade sanctions.

The office was a symbol of the ongoing peace process between the two countries, and the North's withdrawal could imply the deterioration of the relationship. Both Koreas want the U.S.to allow sanctions exemptions to allow the reopening of the factory park, which provided the North with much-needed foreign currency.

It is the first such Korean office since the peninsula was split into a US-backed, capitalistic South and a Soviet-supported, socialist North in 1945.

Two senior administration officials, who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity to discuss US policy on North Korea, said that illegal ship-to-ship transfers that violate USA and global sanctions have increased and that not all countries, including China, are implementing the restrictions. No new action against North Korea was announced by the Treasury Department on Friday, though Trump this week did threaten that new ones could be added. Trump's proclamations have often caught agency officials by surprise, leaving them scrambling to figure out what he's directing and to implement his directives.

It was not clear whether North Korea's move would be permanent
It was not clear whether North Korea's move would be permanent

Ltd., saying it had assisted North Korean officials based in Europe in procuring goods for the regime.

It also cited 67 vessels for engaging in illicit transfers of refined petroleum with North Korean tankers or facilitating the export of the North's coal.

Analyst Cheong Seong-Chang at South Korea's Sejong Institute said North Korea may be trying to pressure South Korea to back its position with the United States more strongly.

The liaison office is the first since the peninsula was split into a US -backed capitalistic South and a Soviet-supported socialist North in 1945.

The Treasury statement said Dalian Haibo was targeted for dealings with Paeksol Trading Corp, a company previously designated by U.S. sanctions on North Korea.

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