30 June, 2017
Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network announced a finding that Bank of Dandong, a Chinese bank that allegedly acts as a conduit for illicit North Korean financial activity, is a foreign bank of primary money laundering concern, and FinCEN has proposed to sever the bank from the US financial system. Among them, the most notable is severing US financial ties with China's Bank of Dandong, which the Trump administration has claimed acts as a pipeline to support alleged illicit North Korean financial activity.
The sanctions also target the Dalian Global Unity Shipping Co Limited of Dalian, China, according to a statement released by the Treasury.
For months, former USA officials and experts warned that President Donald Trump's plan to rely on China to pressure North Korea into giving up its nuclear weapons was futile. The Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network has proposed prohibiting US financial institutions from directly or indirectly maintaining correspondent accounts for the Bank of Dandong, cutting the bank off from the USA financial system.
The punitive measures ratchet up pressure the U.S.is applying on North Korea to halt its nuclear program by targeted Chinese entities that the administration said enable Kim Jong Un's regime.
'While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi & China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out.
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President Donald Trump is growing increasingly frustrated with China over its inaction on North Korea and bilateral trade issues. At least I know China tried!' Trump tweeted on June 20. The step comes ahead of President Trump's visit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
The Treasury said the two individuals have been linked to front or cover companies on behalf of North Korean institutions.
'This is a strong message to Chinese leaders that the Trump administration will act against North Korea's sanctions evasion in China, ' he said.
-Chinese national Sun Wei, said to have been running a cover company for North Korea's Foreign Trade Bank, which is already subject to USA sanctions.
Dalian Global Unity is reported to transport 700,000 tons of freight annually, including coal and steel products, between China and North Korea, Treasury said. It cited a United Nations expert panel as saying the company has violated a ban on trade in luxury goods with the North. It named the two individual as Sun Wei and Li Hong Ri.