Bank in North on blacklist

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Bank in North on blacklist

The United States on Tuesday added a North Korean bank to its trade embargo blacklist over its alleged involvement in weapons transactions, following the U.S.’s implementation of tougher regulations against the regime.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury said it added Dongbang Bank, or Bank of East Land, to its list of North Korean entities subject to sanctions under Executive Order 13551, which was issued last August.

The designation was Washington’s first specific sanction against Pyongyang since Executive Order 13551 identified more than 20 North Korean entities and individuals subject to sanctions, including the freezing of assets and a trade ban.

The executive order established the legal criteria that enable the U.S. Treasury Department to designate additional entities or people for sanctions.

The Treasury Department said Dongbang has facilitated financial transactions for the benefit of Green Pine, a North Korean entity that specializes in the production and export of maritime military armaments.

Dongbang also had transactions with some Iranian banks that have been subject to U.S. sanctions, such as Bank Melli and Bank Sepah, in 2007 and 2008, the Treasury said. North Korea is suspected of exporting weapons to Iran.

The Treasury said the bank has also facilitated financial transactions for the Reconnaissance General Bureau, North Korea’s premiere intelligence organization, which was also identified for sanctions under Executive Order 13551. The bureau, which controls Green Pine, is involved in the government’s conventional arms trade, the Treasury said.

“Bank of East Land is a major conduit for facilitating North Korea’s conventional arms trade,” said U.S. acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen in a statement. Cohen said the designation of the bank “exposed North Korea’s efforts to circumvent sanctions to conduct illicit activities.”

The inclusion of Dongbang on the blacklist came hours after the U.S. yesterday put into effect a new Executive Order 13570 that tightened restrictions.

Observers said the moves by Washington reveal its resolution to not repeat mistakes like the Banco Delta Asia case: In 2005, the U.S. froze $25 million worth of North Korean assets at Banco Delta, citing a money-laundering concern, but two years later, it lifted the sanctions to facilitate Washington-Pyongyang talks. The U.S. now believes the decision led Pyongyang to expect a reward despite bad behavior.


By Moon Gwang-lip [joe@joongang.co.kr]


한글 관련 기사 [연합]

美재무부, 北 ‘동방은행’ 추가 제재

北정찰총국.청송연합 불법 무기거래 연루 혐의

미국 재무부는 19일 불법 무기 거래에 연루된 혐의로 북한 동방은행(뱅크 오브 이스트 랜드. Bank of East Land)을 추가 대북 제재대상 기관으로 지정, 미국내 자산을 동결하고 미국 금융기관과의 거래를 금지했다.

데이비드 코언 테러.금융 담당 차관은 이날 "동방은행은 북한의 재래식 무기거래를 촉진하는 루트"라며 "이 은행의 제재대상 지정은 불법활동을 위해 제재를 모면하고 국제금융시스템을 남용하려는 북한의 시도를 무력화시킬 것"이라고 말했다.

이번 제재는 지난해 8월 북한의 무기, 사치품 수출입과 돈세탁, 위조지폐, 마약거래 등 불법활동에 연루된 개인이나 기업.단체를 제재대상으로 추가 지정토록 한 대북제재 행정명령 13551호에 따라 취해진 것이다.

동방은행은 기존 대북제재 대상인 불법무기거래 주도업체 `청송연합`(Green Pine Associated Corporation)의 거래를 지원해왔으며, 지난 2007, 2008년에는 유엔 제재 대상인 이란의 멜리, 세파 은행과도 거래를 했다고 재무부는 밝혔다.

동방은행은 특히 북한 정찰총국 무기 프로그램을 위한 금융거래를 지원한 혐의도 받고 있다.

청송연합은 잠수함, 군사용보트, 미사일 시스템 등 해군전력과 관련된 군수물자 생산을 전문으로 하며, 이란 방산업체에 어뢰 관련 기술지원을 제공한 북한의 해외 무기 수출업체로 정보기관인 정찰총국은 청송연합을 감독하며 재래식 무기거래도 지휘하고 있는 기관이다.

정찰총국과 청송연합은 지난해 8월 발효된 대북제재 행정명령 13551호 발표때 모두 제재 대상 기관으로 지정된 곳이다.

북한 동방은행에 대한 재무부의 이번 조치는 행정명령 13551호에 따른 추가 제재 대상을 검토하는 과정에서 동방은행의 혐의가 구체적으로 포착돼 제재 리스트에 추가한 것이다.

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