WASHINGTON — The Department of Treasury announced Thursday sanctions against a Chinese bank that has allegedly laundered millions of dollars for North Korea.
The announcement comes as the Trump administration is seeking to up the pressure against North Korea as it continues to test missile technology and after it released an American college student from imprisonment who shortly died after returning to the U.S.
A statement from Treasury said that the “Bank of Dandong, a Chinese bank” serves as a “conduit for illicit North Korean financial activity.” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said this this is a “very significant” action as it cuts off “millions of dollars” from North Korean leadership. The sanctions will cut off the bank and individuals associated with it from the American financial system.
President Trump recently said in a tweet that Chinese efforts to counter North Korean aggression haven’t worked. Mnuchin, however, stressed at the press briefing that the sanctions were not directed at China. He said that “nobody is off limits” when it comes to giving illegal financial assistance to North Korea.
He compared the sanctions to those against Iran. He said those were “very effective and that’s what brought them to the table.”