US announces further steps to restrict DPRK's access to global financial system

Updated: 2016-06-02 09:16


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WASHINGTON - The US Treasury Department on Wednesday took further steps to restrict the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) from the global financial system.

In a statement, the Treasury Department announced that the DPRK is a "primary money laundering concern" and recommended a measure to prohibit "covered US financial institutions from opening or maintaining correspondent accounts with North Korea (DPRK's) financial institutions".

Current US law already generally prohibits US financial institutions from engaging in both direct and indirect transactions with DPRK's financial institutions, according to the statement.

The proposed measure, if finalized, would require US financial institutions to implement "additional due diligence measures" in order to prevent DPRK's banking institutions from gaining improper indirect access to US correspondent accounts.

The measure would also prohibit the use of third-country banks' US correspondent accounts to process transactions for DPRK's financial institutions.

"The United States, the UN Security Council, and our partners worldwide remain clear-eyed about the significant threat that North Korea (DPRK) poses to the global financial system," said Adam Szubin, Acting Under Secretary of Treasury. "Today's action is a further step toward severing banking relationships with North Korea (DPRK)".

The UN Security Council adopted a resolution on March 2, which in part requires UN Member States to sever correspondent banking relationships with DPRK's financial institutions within 90 days of the adoption of the resolution.

Szubin called on other governments and financial authorities to do likewise pursuant to the UN Security Council Resolution.

"It is essential that we all take action to prevent the regime from abusing financial institutions around the world -- through their own accounts or other means," he said.