Treasury has updated the sanctions lists in respect of North Korea. The changes extend the scope of sanctions in line with EU measures. The changes affect credit and financial institutions and:

  • require them to close existing branches, subsidiaries or banking accounts in North Korea if Treasury has determined they could contribute to North Korea’s illicit programmes; and terminate existing joint ventures, ownership interests and correspondent banking relationships with North Korea’s banks. Institutions must comply with this requirement by the end of May;
  • oblige them to inform Treasury if they consider that the operation of any account or office might contribute to North Korea’s illicit programmes;
  • continue the current prohibitions on credit and financial institutions to open new banking accounts with North Korea or North Korean owned/controlled entities, open new branches, subsidiaries or representative offices, and enter into new correspondent banking relationships and joint ventures. All new acquisitions of ownership interests in a North Korea or North Korean owned/controlled entity, joint ventures with designated persons, and financial support for trade with North Korea are now prohibited; and
  • ban making funds or economic resources available to the Government of North Korea, the Workers’ Party of Korea, or any person acting on their direction or behalf, if Treasury has determined that to do so would contribute to North Korea’s illicit programmes.

Treasury notes that firms breaching the new requirements will commit a criminal offence because of EU measures, even though the amendments to the current UK laws on enforcement have not yet been made. Separately, Treasury updated the sanctions in respect of Libya and renewed a terrorism designation. (Source: Treasury updates sanctions)