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US Not to Cut Off N. Korea from Int`l Finance

Posted August. 01, 2010 08:24,   


The U.S. will not prevent the governments or financial institutions of other countries from making financial transactions with North Korea as part of its independent sanctions on Pyongyang.

Details on additional U.S. sanctions on the North will likely be announced next month after Robert J. Einhorn, U.S. coordinator for sanctions on Iran and North Korea, visits South Korea next week to fine-tune measures.

On additional financial sanctions on Pyongyang, Washington will issue an executive order targeting the North’s illegal activities, including the trafficking of narcotics and fake cigarettes and the distribution of counterfeit banknotes.

It will likely be similar to Executive Order 13382, which the U.S. blacklisted 23 North Korean organizations, enterprises and individuals to impose sanctions on Pyongyang`s spread of weapons of mass destruction.

The Obama administration is considering announcing a list of North Korean organizations and individuals subject to sanctions when the new order is issued. Washington, however, has chosen not to adopt Iran-style sanctions in which Congress enacted laws on cutting off financial transactions.

In a Wednesday news briefing in Washington, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Philip Crowley urged international cooperation and said he expects all countries to pressure the North through a variety of methods as required under U.N. resolutions on North Korea sanctions.

The U.S. decision not to take strong measures against the North like those against Iran is connected with an "exit strategy" should Pyongyang return to the negotiating table.

South Korea`s decision not to shut down the inter-Korean industrial complex in the North`s border city of Kaesong, a facility which accounts for half of economic exchanges between the two Koreas, is also aimed to improve relations with Pyongyang.

After freezing 250 million U.S. dollars in North Korean funds at the Macau-based Banco Delta Asia in 2005, the U.S. underwent a difficult and complicated process to lift financial sanctions on the North due to the complexity of the international financial transaction system.

Washington’s focus on strong implementation of U.N. Resolution 1874 rather than severing Pyongyang’s overseas transactions is aimed at heavily pressuring the North but leaving room for Pyongyang`s retreat.