Trump signals new sanctions against North Korea

22 September, 2017, 21:54 | Author: Valerie Burke
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North Korea's International Olympic Committee member Chang Ung said last week that the Pyeongchang winter Olympics in South Korea in February will not be affected by the escalating crisis on the peninsula and North Korea will hopefully be able to send athletes.

The EU is seeking to go beyond the latest round of United Nations Security Council sanctions imposed after North Korea's sixth and most powerful nuclear test, conducted on September 3.

Since North Korea's sixth nuclear test, China has supposedly closed certain border crossings, started cracking down on North Korean labor, and pressured its financial institutions.

Chinese banks are not allowed to provide financial transactions for new North Korean customers, and they are encouraged to begin severing ties with existing customers.

China's central bank did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

"Management of North Korea-related business has become an issue of national-level politics and national security", the notice read.

The measure could force Chinese banks or Russian importers to decide between doing business with North Korea or being blacklisted by the United States.

Frustrated that China had not done more to rein in North Korea, the Trump administration considered new sanctions in July on small Chinese banks and other firms doing business with Pyongyang, two senior United States officials told Reuters.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said Thursday that President Donald Trump's new executive order toughening economic sanctions on North Korea puts foreign banks "on notice that going forward they can choose to do business with the United States or with North Korea, but not both".

The Trump administration has already sanctioned Chinese banks for illicit cooperation with North Korea and warned that more sanctions could follow.

China's Big Four state-owned banks have stopped providing financial services to new North Korean clients, Reuters reported last week, with some measures beginning as early as the end of previous year.

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