The U.S. issued an advisory on financial transactions with North Korea on Wednesday, warning that financial institutions dealing with North Korean banks may be subject to sanctions.
According to South Korean daily The Chosun Ilbo, Washington informed the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on March 8 to put North Korea on the list of countries and other entities that fall short in “combating the financing of terrorists.”
North Korea is the only country that has been on the list for eight straight years, the daily said, adding that financial institutions must sever ties with North Korean banks or minimize dealings with them.
“Any financial transactions with the North run the risk of being used to finance its weapons of mass destruction program and ballistic missile activities,” warned the U.S. Treasury.
Washington added that new joint ventures with Pyongyang and dealings with North Korean banks by, for example, opening accounts that are not authorized by the UN would be prohibited.
Last month, a statement released by the FATF said it remained concerned over North Korea’s failure to address the significant deficiencies in its efforts to combat money laundering and terror financing as well as the “serious threats they pose to the integrity of the international financial system.”
The FATF urged Pyongyang to “immediately and meaningfully address” these deficiencies.
“Further, the FATF has serious concerns with the threat posed by the North Korea’s illicit activities related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and its financing,” added the statement.