Feds Sanction Chinese Bank Linked To North Korea

Jun 30, 2017, 00:37
Feds Sanction Chinese Bank Linked To North Korea

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (mih-NOO'-shin) says the US still wants to work with China - even as the U.S.is penalizing a Chinese bank that's accused of illicit dealings with North Korea.

The Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network has proposed prohibiting USA financial institutions from directly or indirectly maintaining correspondent accounts for the Bank of Dandong, cutting the bank off from the US financial system.

Bank of Dandong which "acts as a conduit for illicit North Korean financial activity, is a foreign bank of primary money laundering concern", and will be severed from the USA financial system, the Treasury said in a statement.

The announcement reflects growing USA frustration over China's efforts to enforce worldwide penalties that are meant to starve North Korea of revenue for its nuclear and missile programs.

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Sanctions are also being imposed on Dalian Global Unity Shipping and two Chinese citizens who the Treasury said have business dealings with North Korea related to illicit financial transactions.

For months, former US officials and experts warned that President Donald Trump's plan to rely on China to pressure North Korea into giving up its nuclear weapons was futile.

The sanctions freeze any U.S. assets it has and ban Americans and American companies from doing business with it.

"The United States is sending an emphatic message across the globe that we will not hesitate to take action against persons, companies and financial institutions who enable this regime".

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Mnuchin said the decison will require United States banks to ensure that the Bank of Dandong does not access the U.S. financial system directly or indirectly through other foreign banks.

"While todays actions are directed at Chinese individuals and entities, we look forward to continuing to work closely with the Government of China to stop illicit financing involving North Korea".

"We are in no way targetting China with these actions", Mnuchin said at a White House briefing on Thursday.

'We are committed to targeting North Korea's eternal enablers, ' he said, 'and maximizing economic pressure on the regime, until it ceases its nuclear and ballistic missile programs'. At least I know China tried!

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Mnuchin said this is part of its efforts against North Korea. But he could also choose to act like he's willing to become a strict enforcer but not follow through on it, something China does with banned goods going into North Korea all the time. The Treasury said the two individuals have been linked to front or cover companies on behalf of North Korean institutions. But Beijing has repeatedly said it's influence is limited and that it is doing all it can.

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