North korea: first us sanctions against a chinese bank

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.

Experts who have closely watched the new administration's work to encourage China to apply heavier pressure on North Korea have long predicted Trump and his advisers would eventually hit a wall - just as past administrations have in similar efforts to elicit stronger cooperation from the Chinese on the North Korean nuclear issue.

"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. He said that "nobody is off limits" when it comes to giving illegal financial assistance to North Korea.

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

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.

Now, as South Korea's president arrives at the White House, Trump appears to be coming to terms with the reality.

While the individuals and institution designated in Thursday's actions are Chinese, Mnuchin emphasized that the sanctions were meant to target North Korea, not Beijing.

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The sanctions come as the US pushes for China, North Korea's largest trading partner, to exert more pressure on Pyongyang.

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

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.

Amid growing tension with North Korea, the United States is increasing pressure on Chinese financial players.

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.

OFAC is also designating Dalian Global Unity Shipping Co., Ltd. (Dalian Global Unity) for sanctions for operating in the transportation industry in the North Korean economy. And it's also said to be involved in luxury goods smuggling incidents.

  • Adam Floyd