Treasury announces new sanctions to increase pressure on North Korea

North Korea Koreas Tension

The US will impose unilateral sanctions on one Chinese bank, two individuals and one shipping company over their alleged "illicit financing" and "continued support" of North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced on Thursday at the White House.

The Treasury Department said it's taking new steps to increase economic pressure on North Korea.

Munchin calls it a "very significant" step.

"Without rewarding North Korea for its bad actions, South Korea and the United States should closely consult what they may give the North in return for a nuclear freeze", he said.

The Trump administration is increasing pressure on Chinese financial players amid growing tension with North Korea.

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It means the bank will now be prevented from having accounts or doing business with USA financial institutions.

Among them: severing US financial ties with China's Bank of Dandong, which the administration claims acts as a pipeline to support alleged illicit North Korean financial activity.

Washington has repeatedly urged China to exert more economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea in response to North Korea's ongoing efforts to build missiles and its violations of U.N. Security Council resolutions.

Sanctions were imposed on Dalian Global Unity Shipping Co., which ships coal and steel between China and North Korea, freezing any property or assets in the USA and prohibiting any US citizen from doing business with the company. We are in no way targeting China with these actions.

"But more importantly", Glaser added, "it is an effort to begin to address the way that the North Korean regime and its military is getting access to funds, because they are conducting illicit activities thorough these entities in China".

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"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.

Sun Wei is suspected of directing a screen company for the account of the bank in north Korean Foreign Trade Bank, the main settlement currency in the country. At least I know China tried! The Treasury said the two individuals have been linked to front or cover companies on behalf of North Korean institutions.

Speaking alongside Moon in Congress, House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters that the US and South Korea "shared concerns" about North Korea.

Mnuchin said the decison will require U.S. banks to ensure that the Bank of Dandong does not access the USA financial system directly or indirectly through other foreign banks. It cited a United Nations expert panel as saying the company has violated a ban on trade in luxury goods with the North.

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