The U.S. Treasury Department has modified sanctions regulations against North Korea that emphasize restraining agencies that engage in financial transactions with the regime.
The revisions do not impose more sanctions on Pyeongyang,but strengthen the department's efforts to block the North's access to funds that could be used to develop its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
It's a follow-up measure to incorporate North Korea sanctions provisions in the latest National Defense Authorization Act,which was signed by President Trump in December 2019.
Of particular note is the section titled the "Otto Warmbier North Korea Sanctions and Enforcement Act of 2019".
Warmbier was an American college student who died in 2017after falling into a coma during a 17-month detention in North Korea.
The Warmbier Act requires the U.S. President to designate anyone who "knowingly engages in" certain activities related to North Korea to screen who's subject to sanctions.
It also obligates the Treasury Secretary to enforce sanctions on foreign financial institutions that deliberately provide "significant financial services" to individuals designated for their ties to North Korea.
The sanctions put a ban or strict conditions on the opening or maintenance of correspondent or payable-through accounts in the United States.
Also included in the Warmbier Act is a provision that requires the Treasury Secretary to block any American-owned or controlled institution outside the U.S. from engaging in any financial transactions with Pyeongyang or sanctioned individuals.
The new regulations go into effect on April 10thafter they are published in the Federal Register.
Kan Hyeong-woo, Arirang News.