US takes aim at North Korea's remaining financial links

January 13, 2015 23:32

WASHINGTON - The United States aims to use new sanctions imposed on North Korea over the cyber attack on Sony Pictures to cut off the country's remaining links to the international financial system, a senior US Treasury official said on Tuesday.

Daniel Glaser, assistant secretary for terrorist financing at the US Treasury Department, said past sanctions had already discouraged "hundreds" of overseas banks, including China's major commercial banks, from doing business with North Korea.

New sanctions announced by President Barack Obama on Jan 2. provided "a tremendous amount of flexibility" and the goal was to identity remaining financial institutions that allowed North Korea access to the global system, which could face sanction themselves, Glaser told a House of Representatives briefing.

"We could target any North Korean government agency; we could target any North Korean government official ... we could apply sanctions with respect to any individual or entity who is providing them, in turn, material support," he said.

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