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U.S. sanctions N. Korean banks as prelude to secondary boycott

U.S. sanctions N. Korean banks as prelude to secondary boycott

Posted September. 28, 2017 07:47,   

Updated September. 28, 2017 09:27


The United States imposed sanctions on 10 North Korean banks and 26 individuals on Tuesday over the regime's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs. The move came just five days after U.S. President Donald Trump signed a new executive order aimed at isolating North Korea from the international financial system and trade transactions. The new sanctions are seen as preliminary measure before implementing “secondary boycotts” of Chinese and Russian banks illegally transacting with North Korea.

The North Korean banks include Koryo Commercial Bank Ltd., International Industrial Development Bank, Agricultural Development Bank, and Ryugyong Commercial Bank, Cheil Credit Bank, Jinmyong Joint Bank, Jinsong Joint Bank, and Hana Banking Corp. Ltd. The 26 individuals are all North Korean nationals working as representatives of North Korean banks in China, Russia, Libya and the United Arab Emirates, according to the U.S. State Department.

“We are targeting North Korean banks and financial facilitators acting as representatives for North Korean banks across the globe,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said. “This further advances our strategy to fully isolate North Korea in order to achieve our broader objectives of a peaceful and denuclearized Korean Peninsula.”

“We are totally prepared for the second option, not a preferred option. But if we take that option, it will be devastating,” U.S. President Trump told reporters after a summit with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on the same day. “I have recently issued tough new sanctions against those who do business with this outlaw regime, and I applaud China’s latest action to restrict its trade with North Korea. And, in particular, I applaud China for breaking off all banking relationships with North Korea -- something that people would have thought unthinkable even two months ago. I want to thank President Xi.”

Yong Park parky@donga.com