Sanctions on China

In other energy news, OFAC also blocked two companies in Singapore and three prominent Russian individuals from providing oil to North Korea.

Let’s stop for a second: blocking, or sanctioning, just means cutting off their access to U.S. entities and financial markets and any other resources under the nonmilitary control of the United States. It doesn’t mean we’re hacking in and blocking something or moving troops or something. We’re essentially just cutting them off, but they could go elsewhere, which is why you may often hear that “sanctions don’t work.”

There are two more sections to these sanctions: WMDs and guestworkers.

In short, we all know what WMD’s are…and where they aren’t. Anyway, North Korea is obviously in love with them so we’re trying to stop that, which brings us back to DanDong. The rest is pretty self-explanatory. North Korea wants to blow stuff up. I’ll spare you the details of specifics metals being blocked, like vanadium and other rare-earth metals that China pretty much has a monopoly on because they really only exist there.

Finally, their guestworker program is interesting. North Korea sends its most loyal citizens abroad to do anything from working on construction projects to working in restaurants. It’s possible you may have been served by a North Korean when you were visiting Southeast Asia. They’re also in Western Europe. They’re pretty much everywhere.

Worldwide, we’re trying to incentivize companies to stop employing these workers because all the money they make goes right to Kim Jong Un and his nuclear program. Not just all the profits after paying the workers but all the money. They’re not paid. However, they believe it’s an honor to be selected to go abroad. Some have even used this as a way to defect.

OFAC sanctioned MOPATS, which is short for Mansudae Overseas Projects Architectural and and Technical Services because it works for Mansudae Group, which was already sanctioned by the United Nations on August 5, 17 days before these OFAC sanctions.

Finally, OFAC sanctioned a company in my favorite Chinese city of Qingdao because of its employment of these guest workers. To be clear, the Qingdao assets being sanctioned are actually owned and controlled by assets in Namibia that are being operated and controlled by China. In fact, a lot in Namibia has been controlled by China for a while now because of massive debt contracts they signed with China and now can’t pay. Sanctioned entitles here are the individual Kim Tong-Chol (no relation to Kim Jong Un himself) and Qingdao Construction Company, which was determined to be aiding Mansudae.

For a full list of these people and entities, you can click here and even see their passport numbers, home and office addresses, gender, and other identifiers.

So what’s going on here?


  1. I don’t know what will Trump do. Simply because Trump is unpredictable and he is, somewhat, not really understanding the role of the U.S. in international stage

    For a God sake reason: Trump has no clear understanding. Now after Irma and Harvey, he has seemed waking up, but again, his arrogance prevents him from doing at least a right thing

    Kim Jong Un, Pakistan and China on the other side are trying to expand the fears and creating opportunities from the madness of Trump. I don’t know what is people thinking, either. But it is time we have to be serious.

    Luckily, the Congress hasn’t lost their mind up and they might help us to drive policies.

    I am no fan of Hillary Clinton. Obama, he has failed to deal what it should have to be. Bill… dunno. But I don’t think I want Bush Jr. to return, he is also a disaster. And Trump is just the last ending of an era of disastrous leaders since Bill Clinton’s era

    The U.S. needs to balance their benefits to gain the goal to stop China’s domination. Russia is too weak to make something again, so China, with 5.000 years of trying to besert other interests, will be a threat for us

  2. Trump is like a 6 year old playing on a playground in grammar school, turning to name-calling because he knows nothing else.

    He has no idea when to be forceful and when not; no idea how to use global-economic power, no idea how to professionally communicate with people, so he uses twitter to message his feelings of the day.

    He threatens the use of military, mostly sounding like a fool in doing so, and even when he uses it, the moron calls and tells them “we’re going to attack your airport, you better get your planes out of harms way.” The, the idiot uses $18 million dollars worth of cruise missiles instead of a stealth bomber that could actually do something to the runway. He must be buddies with the CEO of Raytheon.

    The clown has turned the U.S. into a pariah amongst all other nations, including our own allies.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Bob. He certainly doesn’t know what he’s doing. I assume you’re referring to the strike on Syria. While I think something was necessary, that strike certainly lacked the surgical precision and informed capabilities of a modern military.

      We’re not pariahs yet, and I have hope. We’re almost 25% through his first and hopefully only term, and our allies have acknowledged they stand with our people even when they don’t agree with our President.

  3. I really like the way you write about politics. I found it both amusing and informative, and that’s the best kind of content. I also really like watching this power struggle, this dance, if you will, between the US and PRC play out. Sometimes I fantasize about how in a different world the US AND North Korea might find ways to really screw China over.

    1. Thank you, Allison. I appreciate that. I want my blog to be engaging and easy to read. Why use dry language and big words when most people don’t talk that way?

      That’s a really interesting premise. I’ve been studying China since 2006 and have paid much more attention to Pyongyang since 2013. Northeast Asia is probably the most dangerous and least considered hotspot. The Middle East is a problem, but Northeast Asia, where Russia, China, and North Korea all border each other like a tri-state mafia very serious, and I’m glad the world has finally noticed.

    2. “Tri-state mafia.” I like that. If I ever write anything about those three and call it that, I’m definitely crediting you.

    1. Thank you, Pete. I hope you enjoy my blog. If you have additional information about any of my posts, I’d be happy to hear from you.

    2. Thank you. I checked it out. I really like it. I’d appreciate your comments on how Trump is changing our standing in the international community. As you say, Bangladesh is under water right now. The difference this time is they might be expecting Trump to do nothing about it even after we’re done recovering from Harvey, Irma, and Jose.

    3. Trump is viewed as a rather buffoonish figure in Europe. They don’t take him at all seriously, which I think is a grave error. Some feel he won’t see out the term, but I have a feeling he could well be reelected.
      When he won, I think most of us believed he would take an isolationist stance, and draw America back into a pre-1941 style of ‘Made In America’ politics. However, he went off on a tangent, and seems to want to fight everyone.
      Some Americans have long believed in less government interference, less control, and people doing well by hard work. What’s mine is mine, etc. I think his current policies will appeal to them.
      That said, I was no fan of Clinton either, and found it laughable that Sanders was considered to be a Socialist. Then again, some Americans thought Obama was a Communist…
      Europe, as well as America is moving to the Right, on a tide of populist rhetoric and xenophobia. Trump is the best example of how this works, and perhaps why it should not.
      Regards, Pete.

    4. Thank you for your comment. Things are changing in the West. We’ve seen that globalization really turned into a one-way pipeline to China, which turned into major opportunities for them to control the world, and they’ve done a lot to further that goal.

      I’ve been following this for more than a decade now, and I think we’re seeing some protectionism because we’re feeling a lot of uncertainty. If we can diversify or supply chain so we’re sourcing from multiple Asian countries, we’ll do well. Currently, with all our eggs in the same Chinese basket, we’re at their mercy, and for the past 2,000 years, that feeling of total control has been the goal of every Chinese leader.

      You seem to know a lot about what’s going on. I look forward to reading more of your comments.

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