Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

China, Japan criticizing upcoming conference on North Korea hosted in Vancouver

Patty Aguilar | 13 January, 2018, 03:24

The Vancouver meeting is expected to put a heavy emphasis on finding ways to crack down on the many smuggling and money-laundering schemes that Pyongyang has employed to sidestep sanctions and pay for its nuclear program.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau quietly issued the directive last month following concerns that the North Korean government was skirting global sanctions through money laundering and other illicit financial activity. That means the West will have to confront the reality of a nuclear North Korea.

But financial institutions will now have to treat even those few that are allowed - including remittances worth less than $1,000 and humanitarian aid - as potential cases of money laundering and report them to the government.

In November, China imported no iron ore, coal or lead from North Korea, the second full month of the United Nations trade sanctions. "We hope they will attend", he said of China Dec. 20, the day Freeland announced details alongside U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Ottawa.

Analysts have warned that the North Korean government uses money laundering and other illicit financial activity to develop its nuclear-weapons program, a concern echoed by the Paris-based task force.

But White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the two leaders, who spoke by telephone, also "underscored the importance of continuing the maximum pressure campaign against North Korea".

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Not only does Canada have limited financial ties to North Korea, Clement said, but Canadian banks and other institutions have been closely scrutinizing any transactions with the Asian nation for years.

That's a fine idea, except two of the top players in the region and the countries believed to have the most influence on North Korea- China and Russian Federation - aren't invited.

In 2017 as a whole, China's overall trade with North Korea declined by more than 10 percent to about $5 billion, as U.S. President Donald Trump secured Beijing's backing for four escalating rounds of sanctions.

China's imports from North Korea plunged in December to their lowest level in dollar terms since at least the start of 2014, with trade curbed by United Nations sanctions aimed at persuading Pyongyang to abandon its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs. "They have taken action in some areas".

He also said that China would continue to make its own efforts to push the peninsula nuclear issue back to the track of dialogue and consultation as well as settlement. The official said Canada never got to the "juncture" of inviting China to the actual summit because there was an awareness that Chinese views on the way to move forward are different than those in North America.

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