by WorldTribune Staff, September 21, 2017
U.S. President Donald Trump on Sept. 21 signed an executive order that he said would “cut off sources of revenue” that fund North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.
At a press conference, Trump said the new order enhances the Treasury Department’s authority to “target any individual or entity that conducts significant trade in goods, services, or technology with North Korea.”
The order targets key industries, as well as essential shipping networks.
“For much too long, North Korea has been allowed to abuse the international financial system to facilitate funding for its nuclear weapons and missile programs,” Trump said. “The United States has had representatives working on this problem for over 25 years, and they have done nothing.”
“That is why we are in the problem that we are in today, in addition to, frankly, other countries not doing what they should have done,” he added.
The order gives Treasury the authority and discretion to sanction any foreign bank that knowingly conducts business with North Korea.
“Foreign banks will face a clear choice: do business with the United States or facilitate trade with the lawless regime in North Korea,” Trump said.
“President Trump’s executive order refines the focus of the U.S. economic sanctions against North Korea by specifically targeting foreign banks and companies that have continued to do business with North Korea,” said Lawrence Ward, a partner at the international law firm Dorsey & Whitney in international business focusing on U.S. national security law, international trade compliance law and licensing.
“These U.S. secondary sanctions coupled with China’s central bank’s announcement that Chinese banks should cease all business with North Korea will serve to further isolate North Korea. If Russia, China and certain nations in the Middle East stop using workers from North Korea, then North Korea will be even further boxed-in. The U.S. secondary sanctions against Iran proved incredibly effective at forcing Iran to the negotiating table as shown through the recent JCPOA,” Ward said.
Trump stressed that the order targets only North Korea.
The president lauded China’s central bank for ordering that banks in China stop conducting business with North Korea.