North korea: first us sanctions against a chinese bank
30 June, 2017, 00:36 | Author: Brian Mcdaniel
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.
The U.S.is moving to cut off the Bank of Dandong from the global financial system by preventing U.S. institutions from maintaining accounts for or on its behalf.
Anthony Ruggiero a former senior Treasury official in the Office of Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes, said the action against Bank of Dandong is the first time USA authorities sought to punish a Chinese bank accused of helping North Korea.
The announcement reflects growing US frustration over China's efforts to enforce global penalties that are meant to starve North Korea of revenue for its nuclear and missile programs.
In a statement, the Treasury Department accused the China-based Bank of Dandong of "facilitating millions of dollars of transactions for companies involved in North Korea's [weapons of mass destruction] and ballistic missile programs".
Mnuchin said USA officials were continuing to look at other companies that may be helping North Korea and may roll out additional sanctions.
"This is an effort by the Trump administration to get China to apply more pressure", Bonnie Glaser, the director of the China Power Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told me.
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Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said at a press conference that the actions were created to cut off funds that North Korea uses to build its weapons program.
He wrote: "While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi & China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out". At least I know China tried!' Trump tweeted on June 20.
The president was to meet for the first time Thursday with South Korea's new leader, President Moon Jae-in, who has long advocated outreach to North Korea.
The moves come in response to North Korea's ongoing efforts to build missiles and its violations of U.N. Security Council resolutions.
At a recent summit in Washington, D.C., Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that China has a "diplomatic responsibility to exert much greater economic and diplomatic pressure on the regime if they want to prevent further escalation in the region".
He says the U.S.is committed to cutting off all illegal funds to North Korea, which conducts 90 percent of its foreign trade through China. It named the two individual as Sun Wei and Li Hong Ri.
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