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The United States’ Treasury Department has issued new sanctions to formally block North Korean banks from creating or maintaining any accounts with U.S. financial institutions, as part of an effort to starve the nation of revenues for its nuclear and missile programs, reported Asian Correspondent.
According to a report by Reuters, the Treasury said in a statement that North Korea was using false means, including companies and agencies as fronts, to secure funding through illicit transactions for the programs.
In June, the Treasury designated North Korea as a “primary money laundering concern” as the front companies were also used to evade international sanctions.
U.S. banks are already prohibited from dealing with North Korea, but the Treasury said these further sanctions will support international sanctions and bolster the U.S. financial system against shady activities.
The rules issued Friday under the U.S.A. Patriot Act require banks to take additional due diligence to prevent North Korean banks from gaining indirect access to the U.S. financial system via foreign banks.
The U.S. is also pushing China to ramp up economic restrictions on North Korea, but China has shown signs of pushing back against U.S. efforts to tighten sanctions after a North Korea conducted a nuclear test on September 9.