The United States last week asked a UN sanctions committee to slap an assets freeze on Agrosoyuz Commercial Bank for allegedly helping North Korea evade UN-imposed restrictions on financial transactions.
In a response to the council, Russia yesterday raised doubts about the allegations, while China told the council that it objected to the proposed sanctions designations put forward by the United States.
"We would like to underline that designation requests submitted to the committee should be adequately substantiated by sufficient information," said the Russian mission to the United Nations in a message to the council seen by AFP.
But the US has called for maintaining "maximum pressure" from sanctions until North Korea has fully dismantled its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
Earlier yesterday, the North Korean foreign ministry issued an angry statement, denouncing the United States for responding to its overtures by "inciting international sanctions and pressure."
The council last year adopted three rafts of sanctions targeting North Korea's economy through export and import bans, as well as restrictions on banking.
It was the second time in three weeks that Russia and China have objected to a US request to tighten sanctions on North Korea.
The US had made the request to the sanctions committee after finding that North Korea had exceeded the cap on fuel imports though illegal ship-to-ship transfers at sea.
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