The move prohibits U.S. financial institutions from opening or maintaining correspondent accounts for DPRK banks. It also requires U.S. financial institutions to apply additional due diligence measures in order to prevent DPRK financial institutions from gaining improper indirect access to U.S. correspondent accounts, the Treasury Department said in a statement.
The move follows Treasury's designation of the DPRK as a "primary money laundering concern" in June and provides greater protection for the U.S. financial system from DPRK's "illicit activity," according to the statement.
"North Korea continues to use front companies and agents to conduct illicit financial transactions -- some of which support the proliferation of WMD (weapons of mass destruction) and the development of ballistic missiles -- and evade international sanctions," said Adam Szubin, Acting Under Secretary of Treasury." Such funds have no place in any reputable financial system."
Current U.S. law already generally prohibits U.S. financial institutions from engaging in both direct and indirect transactions with DPRK's financial institutions.