dglobalnews.com USA blacklists small Chinese bank over North Korea dealings, announces new sanctions
Published: Fri, June 30, 2017
Global Media | By Cecelia Webb

USA blacklists small Chinese bank over North Korea dealings, announces new sanctions

USA blacklists small Chinese bank over North Korea dealings, announces new sanctions

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (mih-NOO'-shin) says the US still wants to work with China - even as the U.S.is penalizing a Chinese bank that's accused of illicit dealings with North Korea.

The sanctions ban American individuals and companies from doing business with those identified in Thursday's announcement. Anxieties about North Korea's nuclear capabilities have escalated amid recent missile tests.

"Without rewarding North Korea for its bad actions, South Korea and the United States should closely consult what they may give the North in return for a nuclear freeze", he said.

When Trump and Moon hold formal talks on Friday, they are likely to discuss a controversial U.S. missile defense system that has been set up in South Korea to guard against missile threats from the North.

Mnuchin made clear that the United States is "in no way targeting China with these actions" and that US officials "look forward to continuing to work closely with the government of China to stop the illicit financing in North Korea".

"I wish we would have a little more help with respect to North Korea from China, but that doesn't seem to be working out", Trump said last week after tweeting that Chinese efforts to pressure North Korea "has not worked out".

At a recent summit in Washington, D.C., Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that China has a "diplomatic responsibility to exert much greater economic and diplomatic pressure on the regime if they want to prevent further escalation in the region".

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President Trump has publicly shown signs of frustrations with the current approach.

"The campaign is only now really gathering momentum", the official said.

The Trump administration has imposed sanctions on a Chinese bank, a Chinese company and two Chinese citizens in an effort to crack down on North Korea's financing and development of weapons of mass destruction.

But little more has happened since then and a senior White House official on Wednesday acknowledged that China's moves to ban North Korean coal imports was just a small step in the range of options China could consider to pressure the rogue regime in light of its trading relationship with North Korea. He said those were "very effective and that's what brought them to the table".

And while Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the move was not targeted at China's government, it is likely to infuriate Beijing which says it has been unstinting in its efforts to ease tensions with North Korea.

However he raised eyebrows last week by thanking his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping for its help before concluding that his efforts had "not worked out", without spelling out what he meant to do next.

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