Why Trump just slapped new sanctions on Chinese banks
Jun 30, 2017, 00:36
"The Department of the Treasury is committed to protecting the USA financial system from North Korean abuse and maximising pressure on North Korea until it abandons its nuclear and ballistic missile programs", said Treasury Secretary Steven T Mnuchin.
Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) says that one Chinese citizen, Sun Wei, has been "closely aligned with" and running a cover company on behalf of North Korea's primary foreign exchange bank, FTB, which was already under USA sanctions for facilitating transactions "on behalf of North Korea's WMD proliferation network".
The Department of Treasury announced Thursday sanctions against a Chinese bank that has allegedly laundered millions of dollars for North Korea.
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 US and prohibiting any USA citizen from doing business with the company.
Trump said earlier this month that China's efforts to contain North Korea had been unsuccessful.
Mnuchin said US officials were continuing to look at other companies that may be helping North Korea and may roll out additional sanctions.
'This is not directed at China, ' he said. "We are committed to targeting north Korea's external enablers and maximizing pressure on the North Korean regime".
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President Donald Trump is growing increasingly frustrated with China over its inaction on North Korea and bilateral trade issues. At least I know China tried!' Trump tweeted on June 20.
The announcement comes ahead of a scheduled visit from South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
The moves come in response to North Korea's ongoing efforts to build missiles and its violations of U.N. Security Council resolutions.
Mnuchin said this is part of its efforts against North Korea.
OFAC said Dalian Global Unity transports goods and products between North Korea and China.
Top Trump administration officials on Wednesday warned publicly and privately that the U.S.is 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.
The Treasury Department has designated two individuals, Sun Wei and Li Hong Ri, for establishing and running front companies for North Korean banks.
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