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US seeks North Korean funds from eight big banks

The Hill logo The Hill 7/7/2017 John Bowden
Opinion: Trump is about to learn a harsh lesson about Kim Jong Un © Provided by The Hill Opinion: Trump is about to learn a harsh lesson about Kim Jong Un The U.S. government is attempting to seize millions of dollars tied to North Korea from eight major banks after the rogue dictatorship announced on July 4 that it had developed a missile capable of reaching the United States.

Multiple newsoutlets reported Thursday that the Justice Department has accused the banks of processing more than $700 million in "prohibited" transactions since 2009.

The banks included in the court filings are Bank of America Corp., Bank of New York Mellon Corp., Citigroup Inc., Deutsche Bank AG, HSBC Holdings Plc, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Standard Chartered Plc and Wells Fargo & Co.

Some transactions were processed for Dandong Zhicheng Metallic Material Co and four other "front" companies. Prosecutors said those groups tried to evade sanctions through the transactions, which would benefit North Korea's military and weapons programs.

According to Bloomberg, federal prosecutors began moving against the transactions in May, when they filed "damming" seizure warrants with the banks.

The warrants require the banks to accept wire transfers from Dandong and the four other companies for a two week period while preventing transfers out, then freezes the accounts at the end of the 14-day period to allow seizure of funds.

On Tuesday, North Korea announced it had launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which it claimed could "reach anywhere in the world."

Trump last Friday spoke about heightening tensions with North Korea during a press conference alongside South Korea's President Moon Jae-in.

"Together, we are facing the threat of the reckless and brutal regime in North Korea," Trump said at the White House. "The nuclear and ballistic missile programs of that regime require a determined response."

"The era of strategic patience with the North Korean regime has failed - many years it has failed - and, frankly, that patience is over."

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