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US sanctions Chinese firms trading with North Korea

The U.S. Department of the Treasury imposed sanctions on Chinese companies engaged in trade with North Korea, increasing economic pressure on the rouge nation over its nuclear and missile program.

Three Chinese trading firms were sanctioned for exporting about $650 million worth of goods to and importing more than $100 million worth of goods from North Korea from 2013 to 2017. The Treasury said the traded goods included notebook computers, anthracite coal, iron, iron ore, lead ore, zinc ore, silver ore, lead, and ferrous products.

A Chinese individual and his company were also hit with sanctions for exporting more than $28 million worth of goods to North Korea over several years.

The Treasury also sanctioned six North Korean shipping and trading companies, 20 marine vessels and the Korea South-South Cooperation Corp., which has exported workers from Pyongyang and operated in China, Russia, Cambodia and Poland.

The latest sanctions came after U.S. President Donald Trump declared North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism on Nov. 20. He said the Treasury will announce "very large" and additional sanctions on Pyongyang over the next two weeks.

"It will be the highest level of sanctions by the time it's finished over a two-week period," Trump said.