The United States imposed sanctions on two Chinese-based companies on Thursday that would have helped North Korea dodge other US and international sanctions against the North Korean nuclear weapons program.
 It is the first such step since the summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ended without agreement last month.
 The US Treasury Department also issued an updated report listing 67 ships that have participated in illicit shipments of refined oil with North Korean tankers - or which would have exported coal from North Korea.
 The Treasury has identified companies affected by sanctions such as Dalian Haibo International Freight and Liaoning Danxing International Forwarding, both based in China.
The measure prohibits US transactions with designated airlines and freezes any assets they own in the United States.
 The US announcement comes weeks after a second summit between Trump and Kim in Hanoi ended earlier than planned due to conflicting demands from North Korea. The North Korean regime demanded the easing of rigid sanctions, and the United States, which called for Kim's government to abandon the nuclear program.

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