The United States has told South Korea that it will impose its own financial sanctions on the North apart from punishments the UN has been mulling for Pyongyang’s latest nuclear test, a news report said on Friday.
The US sanctions call for blacklisting foreign financial institutions that help the North launder money and conduct other dubious deals, the South Korean Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported.
US Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg briefed the South Korean president on the new sanctions at a meeting yesterday, the mass-market paper said, citing an unidentified official at the presidential office. The US Embassy in Seoul could not confirm the report.
Last week, Pyongyang conducted a barrage of missile launches and an underground nuclear test that violated previous UN Security Council sanctions. The North also appeared to be preparing for more missile tests, including one believed to be capable of reaching the US.
A similar US measure imposed on a bank in the Chinese territory of Macau in 2005 effectively led to the North being severed from the international financial system, as other institutions voluntarily severed their dealings with the bank and the North.
That measure appeared to have hit the regime hard. News reports at the time said North Korean officials had to carry around bags of cash for financial transactions. Pyongyang stayed away from nuclear disarmament talks for more than a year in retaliation.