Ranking US lawmaker seeks sanctions on 12 Chinese banks over N. Korea

By Yonhap
  • Published : Sept 13, 2017 - 16:41
  • Updated : Sept 13, 2017 - 16:41
WASHINGTON -- A ranking American lawmaker has asked the US government to sanction 12 large Chinese banks as part of efforts to cut off North Korea's access to the international financial system, an informed source said Wednesday.

The measures, if implemented, would mark a significant increase in pressure on China to rein in North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs. They could also endanger US-China ties.

The list, submitted by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), includes the world's largest bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, according to the source who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The others are China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China, China Merchant Bank, China Minsheng Banking Corporation, Guangdong Development Bank, Hua Xia Bank, Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, Bank of Communications Co. of China, Bank of Dalian, Bank of Dandong, and Bank of Jinzhou.

Earlier this week, the Washington Post reported that Royce's committee had sent a letter to the administration listing Chinese entities "ripe for sanctions," including the Agricultural Bank of China and the China Merchant Bank.

It quoted Royce as saying, "We have not had the resolve to put these sanctions on those major institutions. It's time to go to maximum pressure."

In 2005, the US blacklisted the Macau-based Banco Delta Asia bank for laundering money for North Korea's regime, prompting other financial institutions to sever ties with Pyongyang for fear of similar sanctions. That forced North Korea to come to the negotiating table.

The UN Security Council adopted new sanctions on Monday to punish North Korea for its sixth nuclear test on Sept. 3, but the measures fell short of US demands for an oil embargo and asset freeze for the North's leader, Kim Jong-un.

A day later, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin threatened to impose additional sanctions on China if it fails to implement them.

"If China doesn't follow these sanctions, we will put additional sanctions on them and prevent them from accessing the US and international dollar system, and that's quite meaningful," he told a conference in New York, broadcast on CNBC. (Yonhap)