Saturday, March 25, 2006

US Sanctions On North Korea Produce 'Encouraging' Results

The United States' financial restrictions on North Korea produced ``encouraging'' results, U.S. Deputy Assistant Treasury Secretary Daniel Glaser said at a conference in Cairo. His comments came amid continuing tension between Washington and Pyongyang over the U.S. punitive actions against a bank in Macau that allegedly provided suspicious financial services to North Korea over the past 20 years. During his speech, Glaser cited the U.S. decision in September 2005 to place Macau's Banco Delta Asia (BDA) on its blacklist as a ``unworthy'' example of its successful war against terrorist financing. ``Our designation of BDA has produced encouraging results,'' Glaser said. ``Jurisdictions in the region have begun conducting investigations and taking necessary steps to identify and cut off illicit North Korean business.''
U.S. Deputy Assistant Treasury Secretary Daniel Glaser
In a report on Sept. 20, the Treasury Department concluded that BDA is a financial institution of ``primary money laundering concern.'' The designation consequently forced the bank to sever its relations with North Korea. He said that BDA financially facilitated North Korean front companies and government agencies engaged in narcotics trafficking, currency counterfeiting and the laundering of proceeds from those illegal practices. The U.S. punitive action is based on Section 311 of the USA Patriotic Act that has designated a total of three jurisdictions and nine financial institutions, including entities in Macau, Latvia, Burma, Syria and the ``Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus,'' Glaser said. ``Section 311 has the dual effect of protecting the U.S. financial sector from abuse and undermining the financial networks that support criminal activity worldwide,'' he said. Calling the U.S. financial sanction an attempt to stifle the Pyongyang regime, North Korea declared in November that it will not return to the six-party talks unless Washington lifts it.