Treasury sanctions Chinese firm and 2 citizens with ties to North Korea


The chinese bank Bank of Dandong is accused by the u.s. department of serve as an intermediary "to illicit financial activity on the part of North Korea", by facilitating millions of dollars in transactions for the benefit of companies involved in the development of ballistic missiles.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced a new set of actions Thursday aimed at increasing pressure on North Korea, including cutting off a Chinese bank that is accused of laundering money and providing financing to North Korea in violation of global sanctions.

The Treasury Department blacklisted Chinese nationals Wei Sun for links to the North's Foreign Trade Bank and Li Hong Ri for ties to North Korean banking executive Ri Song-hyok.

Finally, the transport company Dalian Global Unity Shipping has also been designated to have conveyed luxury goods smuggled to North Korea.

On North Korea, Mr Trump "feels like he gave China a chance to make a difference" but has not seen enough results.

Mnuchin said USA officials were continuing to look at other companies that may be helping North Korea and may roll out additional sanctions.

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His Treasury Department is branding the Bank of Dandong a "primary money laundering concern", and is proposing to severe the bank from the USA financial system, pending a 60-day review period. The sanctions will cut off the bank and individuals associated with it from the American financial system.

The sanctions are the latest in a series of signs that the US has begun to take action to pressure China after months of fruitless efforts to persuade Beijing to exercise more of its influence with the North.

The US Ambassador to China Terry Branstad, who arrived in Beijing on Tuesday, spoke to reporters outside his residence yesterday and said the US hopes to collaborate with China.

Mnuchin made clear that the United States is "in no way targeting China with these actions" and that USA officials "look forward to continuing to work closely with the government of China to stop the illicit financing in North Korea". "Part of it is reputational - this is a signal that the United States is not happy about what China is doing".

"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". "We will be meeting with China and other countries at the G-20 next week to further our efforts to cut off North Koreas illicit activities", Mnuchin said.

'We are committed to targeting North Korea's eternal enablers, ' he said, 'and maximizing economic pressure on the regime, until it ceases its nuclear and ballistic missile programs'.