Treasury announces new sanctions to increase pressure on North Korea

Posted June 30, 2017

"This bank has served as a gateway to North Korean access to the USA and worldwide financial systems that has facilitated millions of dollars in transactions for North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs", Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said at the daily White House briefing Thursday afternoon.

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 U.S. financial system, the Treasury said in a statement.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced that the US has sanctioned two Chinese citizens, a shipping company, and a bank.

Another individual, Li Hong Laughed, has been made to the index to have established several shell companies that cooperate with the representatives in Beijing of the bank of north-Korean Koryo Bank, already sanctioned by the u.s. Treasury.

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.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said this this is a "very significant" action as it cuts off "millions of dollars" from North Korean leadership.

"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". President Donald Trump has been leaning on China to use its influence as North Korea's main trading partner but has expressed some frustration recently with a lack of progress.

Mr. Mnuchin said that China was in the "nothing" referred to by those measures, designed by two chinese nationals and a transport company, and involved the day of the visit of south Korean president Moon Jae-In in Washington.

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Mnuchin said the US would continue to look at other penalties that can be imposed on North Korea and that the topic will be on the agenda when Trump meets with other leaders of major economic powers at the Group of 20 summit next week in Germany.

Mnuchin said this is part of its efforts against North Korea.

"While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi & China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out", Trump tweeted on June 20.

Also blacklisted was Dalian Global Unity Shipping Co.

Trump said earlier this month that China's efforts to contain North Korea had been unsuccessful.

But US officials have been playing down the idea that Washington and Seoul are at odds over their approach, with a senior administration official insisting Thursday they "share precisely the same goal, which is the complete dismantlement of North Korea's nuclear and missile programs". It cited a United Nations expert panel as saying the company has violated a ban on trade in luxury goods with the North.

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