North Korea has been accused of using state-owned corporations and front companies to pay for its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. And the U.S. Treasury Department has announced new steps it’s taking to “further isolate North Korea.”
Treasury officials want to prohibit American banks from doing business with North Korean financial institutions. To accomplish that, they’ve designated North Korea a “primary money laundering concern” under the Patriot Act. That designation will require U.S. banks to “implement additional due diligence measures” to make sure North Korean banks don’t get access.
In a statement, Treasury pointed out that, unlike most banks, North Korea’s financial institutions operate with little or no international supervision — making it easier for them to shift money for illicit purposes.