US Treasury sanctions another DPRK financial organization

According to the Dow Jones Newswire:

The U.S. Treasury Department Tuesday announced sanctions on the Korea Kwangson Banking Corp., a bank the department says is tied to North Korea’s nuclear and weapons trade.

Treasury alleges that North Korea used the Korea Kwangson Banking Corp., or KKBC, to hide nuclear proliferation activities.

The department accuses the bank of providing financial support to Tanchon Commercial Bank and a unit of the Korea Ryonbong General Corp., both of which have already been identified by the U.S. government as weapons of mass destruction proliferators.

“North Korea’s use of a little-known bank, KKBC, to mask the international financial business of sanctioned proliferators demonstrates the lengths to which the regime will go to continue its proliferation activities and the high risk that any business with North Korea may well be illicit,” Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Stuart Levey said in a statement.

According to the Associated Press:

The sanctions mean bank accounts or other financial assets found in the United States that belong to the firm are blocked. Americans also are prohibited from doing business with the bank. It is based in North Korea and has operated at least one overseas branch in Dandong, China.

Further information:
1. Here is an earlier post that contains information on other sanctions imposed this year.

2. Aside from the US and UN, China has also “sanctioned” the DPRK this year.  See here and here.  No doubt they will react to the Dandong branch of KKBC as well. 

3. Stephan Haggard Marcus Noland call these kinds of actions “Whac-a-Mole.” Read their analysis here

4. Joshua notes that this company was one of the North Korean banks listed in Treasury/OFAC’s June 18th advisory about North Korean financial institutions engaging in money laundering activities.


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