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.
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!
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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