Treasury Department announces sanctions against Chinese bank

Treasury Department announces sanctions against Chinese bank

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

US foreign policy experts say Chinese companies have long had a key role in financing Pyongyang.

"I wish we would have a little more help with respect to North Korea from China, but that doesn't seem to be working out", Trump said last week after tweeting that the Chinese campaign to pressure North Korea - however limited - "has not worked out".

Xi could make a concession to the United States by cracking down on more Chinese companies and banks that do illicit business with North Korea - there are tons to choose from.

The US Treasury has identified the Bank of Dandong "to be a foreign financial institution of primary money-laundering concern", serving as "a gateway for North Korea to access the US and global financial systems - facilitating millions of dollars of transactions for companies involved in North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programmes", Mnuchin said.

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".

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The unit alleged that the Chinese bank had served as a means for North Korea to bypass sanctions and access foreign financial systems.

The United States on Thursday imposed sanctions on two Chinese individuals and one shipping company for links to North Korea's weapons proliferation. We are in no way targeting China with these actions. "We are committed to targeting north Korea's external enablers and maximizing pressure on the North Korean regime".

"This is not directed at China, this is directed at a bank, as well as individuals and entities in China", he told reporters.

Another Chinese citizen, Li Hong Ri, is being sanctioned for cooperating with a Beijing-based official who had already been sanctioned for procuring items and conducting financial transactions on North Korea's behalf.

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

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". And it's also said to be involved in luxury goods smuggling incidents.

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