WASHINGTON May 13 The U.S. Treasury is
considering all of its available tools to deny North Korea
access to the international financial system to rein in its
nuclear weapons and missile development programs, a senior
Treasury official said on Saturday.
"We are entertaining all of the tools in our arsenal,
including programs that come from TFI and OFAC offices and
similar ones to try to stop them," the official told reporters
before news broke that North Korea had fired another ballistic
missile into the Sea of Japan.
The official was referring to sanctions and other programs
administered by the Treasury's Terrorism and Financial
Intelligence division and the Office of Foreign Assets Control.
"We don’t comment on future sanctions, but we’re obviously
going to consider every tool in our arsenal to combat any
illicit activity and terror financing," the official said.
North Korea fired a ballistic missile from a region near its
west coast that flew 700 km (430 miles), South Korea's military
said, days after a new leader took office in the South pledging
to engage in dialogue with Pyongyang.
Earlier on Saturday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin
said he made efforts to combat terrorism and illicit finance,
which includes sanctions on North Korea, a key focus of his
discussions with his counterparts from the Group of Seven
Mnuchin told reporters on his plane back to Washington that
for him, terrorism and illicit finance issues outweighed his
discussions of the Trump administration's trade policies at the
G7 meeting in Bari, Italy.
"I would say trade was important, but the biggest focus was
working with our partners to combat terrorist financing,"
The G7 finance ministers and central bank governors pledged
to strengthen tools to effectively counter terrorist financing,
including sharing information and working more effectively to
freeze assets that fall under sanctions.
(Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Robert Birsel)