According to past work orders, contracts and spreadsheets provided to the Post, Huawei and Panda International transported equipment such as base stations and antennas to North Korea to help the country build its 3G network, the newspaper reported.
“This is how many North Koreans were using their phones. This was done in secret. They used code names to avoid saying North Korea,” said Washington Post writer, John Hudson, in an interview with CNN.
In a statement responding to the Post report, Huawei told CNN that it has “no business presence” in North Korea.
The company said that it complies “with all applicable laws and regulations in the countries and regions where we operate, including all export control and sanction laws and regulations of the UN, US and EU.”
A company spokeswoman declined to comment on whether Huawei has done business in the past in North Korea. She also declined to comment on whether the company disputes the Post’s extensive report.
Asked by reporters about Huawei’s relationship with North Korea on Monday, President Donald Trump said, “We’ll have to find out. Our relationship with North Korea’s been very good.”
The revelation that Huawei potentially violated US sanctions on North Korea could complicate Trump’s current stance on the Chinese company.
Last month, the US president said he would ease some restrictions on Huawei, saying he would allow American firms to resume sales to Huawei of products that don’t pose a security threat.
Following the Post report, Republican and Democratic lawmakers renewed demands for a tougher stance on Huawei.
Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen and Republican Sen. Tom Cotton urged Trump to impose orders banning the export of US parts and components to Chinese telecommunications companies like Huawei that violate US export control or sanctions laws.
The United States needs to make it clear “that any company that does business with North Korea — like Huawei reportedly did — will face American sanctions,” the senators said in a statement.
Brian Todd and Nanlin Fang contributed to this report.