North korea: first us sanctions against a chinese bank

Posted June 30, 2017

A statement from Treasury said that the "Bank of Dandong, a Chinese bank" serves as a "conduit for illicit North Korean financial activity".

Its approach is echoed by South Korea's dovish new President Moon Jae-In who arrived in Washington late Wednesday on his first foreign visit since taking office earlier this month.

Mnuchin made clear that the United States is "in no way targeting China with these actions" and that US officials "look forward to continuing to work closely with the government of China to stop the illicit financing in North Korea".

The sanctions will cut off the bank and individuals associated with it from the American financial system.

For months, former USA 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.

In a move that may be seen as the USA pressuring China to rein in wayward ally North Korea, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced Thursday the taking action against a Chinese bank he said is helping North Korea evade sanctions.

Top Trump administration officials on Wednesday warned publicly and privately that the nearing an inflection point in its efforts to pressure North Korea into abandoning its bellicose behavior, suggesting that Trump might seek to crank up diplomatic and economic pressure on China - which accounts for almost 90% of North Korea's foreign trade.

His Treasury Department is branding the Bank of Dandong a "primary money laundering concern", and is proposing to severe the bank from the US financial system, pending a 60-day review period.

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Other established political camps, left angling for what appeared would be a paltry number of seats, also had little to celebrate. His party is only 14 months old, so it held no seats in the National Assembly, whose members serve five-year terms.

He says the committed to cutting off all illegal funds to North Korea, which conducts 90 percent of its foreign trade through China.

China, which borders North Korea and is considered its only major ally, argues that negotiations are the best way to persuade it to halt its nuclear and missile activities.

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

The United States will also impose sanctions on two Chinese individuals and a Chinese shipping company that are believed to have assisted North Korea with its nuclear and missile programs.

-Dalian Global Unity Shipping Co., which Treasury accused of transporting 700,000 tons of freight annually, including coal and steel products, between China and North Korea.

Trump has been pushing for tougher sanctions against Pyongyang to curb its nuclear ambitions and his administration has said military action was a possibility.

Washington's UN Ambassador Nikki Haley recently fielded questions from members of the US House foreign relations committee on the effectiveness of US efforts to influence Haley's UN counterparts on a North Korea strategy. He said those were "very effective and that's what brought them to the table".