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Financial regulator adopts sanctions against North Korea banks, transactions

By Elizabeth Shim
Financial regulator adopts sanctions against North Korea banks, transactions
The Paris-based Financial Action Task Force is enforcing sanctions against North Korea, Seoul said Monday. File Photo by David Silpa/UPI | License Photo

SEOUL, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- An international financial regulator has asked all member countries to discontinue any business with North Korea.

The Financial Action Task Force in France has requested states to be compliant with U.N. Security Council sanctions Resolution 2270, South Korean newspaper Donga Ilbo reported Monday.

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The requirements include the immediate termination of any North Korea bank branches in member countries and the suspension of all currency exchange with North Korean banks.

"Jurisdictions should take the necessary measures to close existing branches, subsidiaries and representative offices of [North Korea] banks within their territories and terminate correspondent relationships with [North Korea] branches, where required by relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions [2270]," the FATF said, according to JoongAng Daily.

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The decision is a response to North Korea's fifth nuclear test on Sept. 9 and enhances the current level of financial sanctions against Pyongyang.

South Korea's Financial Supervisory Commission's Financial Intelligence Unit said the Paris-based organization convened for a meeting from Oct. 15 to 21 and adopted an official statement regarding North Korea.

The FATF cited North Korea's continued proliferation of weapons of mass destruction as the reason for the blocking measures, adding sanctions need to be strengthened to meet U.N. standards.

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More financial sanctions are to undergo review until October 2017, FATF said, according to South Korean news service Newsis.

Seoul's FSC is to cooperate with China's central bank and Japan's finance ministry on preventing money laundering that could go toward financial Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program.

The United States, Japan, China, Russia and South Korea are some of the 37 member states of FATF, established in 1989 to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.

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