US designates North Korea for money laundering concerns

WASHINGTON, June 1 (KUNA) — The United States designated North Korea Wednesday as “jurisdiction of primary money laundering concern,” accusing it of using state-controlled banks to carry out international transactions that fund its ballistic missile and weapons of mass destruction.
It also issued a special measure to further isolate North Korea from the international financial system by prohibiting covered US financial institutions from opening or maintaining correspondent accounts with North Korean financial institutions, the Department of Treasury said in a statement.
While North Korea’s financial institutions do not maintain correspondent accounts with American banks, “they frequently conduct transactions on behalf of the North Korean government and state-controlled corporations,” the Treasury noted.
“The regime is notoriously deceitful in its financial transactions in order to continue its illicit weapons programs and other destabilizing activities,” said the Treasury’s Acting under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Adam J. Szubin.
“Today’s action is a further step toward severing banking relationships with North Korea. It is essential that we all take action to prevent the regime from abusing financial institutions around the world – through their own accounts or other means,” he added. (end)