The financial noose is tightening around North Korea as international banks sever ties with the nation – a move championed by the United States, a top Treasury Department official says.
“There is sort of a voluntary coalition of financial institutions saying that they don’t want to handle this business anymore and that is causing financial isolation for the government of North Korea,” Stuart Levey, the Treasury Department’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in an interview Monday with The Associated Press.
“They don’t want to be the banker for someone who’s engaged in crime, as the North Korean government is,” he said.
Banks in Singapore, Vietnam, China, Hong Kong and Mongolia are opting not to do business with North Korea, Levey said.
“Is there a complete cutoff, so that they can’t get banking anywhere? No, that’s not the case, but they’re having a very difficult time finding banking services,” he said. “You’re seeing a near complete isolation.”
Remember — the feds brought Al Capone down with a tax evasion charge.