Treasury announces new sanctions to increase pressure on North Korea

Laura Christensen
June 30, 2017

The statement quoted U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin as saying that the steps were taken as part of efforts to maximize pressure on North Korea to abandon its weapons programs.

"Treasurys Financial Crimes Enforcement Network has found the Bank of Dandong to be a foreign financial institution of primary money laundering concern under Section 311 of the USA PATRIOT Act", he said.

The Treasury Department has labeled the China-based Bank of Dandong "a foreign bank of primary money laundering concern", and accused it of "serv [ing] as a gateway for North Korea to access the United States and global financial systems despite United States and United Nations sanctions".

Washington has repeatedly urged China to exert more economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea in response to North Korea's ongoing efforts to build missiles and its violations of U.N. Security Council resolutions.

The Trump administration in March slapped sanctions against several Chinese businesses and individuals, but could issue far wider-reaching sanctions on Chinese companies and industries that do business with North Korea in a bid to push the Chinese government to more forcefully pressure North Korea into changing its behavior.

The Trump administration is coming under pressure from lawmakers to find ways to rein in North Korea.

'This is not directed at China, ' he said.

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While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi & China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out.

While the individuals and institution designated in Thursday's actions are Chinese, Mnuchin emphasized that the sanctions were meant to target North Korea, not Beijing. At least I know China tried!

The announcement comes ahead of a scheduled visit from South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

Amid growing tension with North Korea, the United States is increasing pressure on Chinese financial players.

Dalian Global Unity is reported to transport 700,000 tons of freight annually, including coal and steel products, between China and North Korea, Treasury said. Treasury alleged that some of those transactions were related to North Korea's missile programs. And it's also said to be involved in luxury goods smuggling incidents.

-Chinese national Sun Wei, said to have been running a cover company for North Korea's Foreign Trade Bank, which is already subject to USA sanctions.

Another Chinese citizen, Li Hong Ri, is being sanctioned for cooperating with a Beijing-based official who had already been sanctioned for procuring items and conducting financial transactions on North Korea's behalf.

Other reports by My Hot News

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