New US sanctions hit 8 North Korean banks, 26 bank workers

FILE - In this April 15, 2012 file photo, a North Korean vehicle carrying a missile passes by during a mass military parade in Pyongyang's Kim Il Sung Square. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Trump administration is using new sanctions authority to punish eight North Korean banks and 26 bank workers living abroad.

The sanctions rely on an executive order President Donald Trump signed last week to target North Korea’s access to the international banking system.

They come as the United Nations has also recently passed its toughest sanctions package targeting North Korea.

The eight banks are all in North Korea.

The Treasury Department says the 26 individuals are North Korean nationals employed by those banks who work in Russia, China, Libya and the United Arab Emirates.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says the U.S. is targeting those “across the globe” who facilitate financial transactions for North Korea.

He says it’s part of the effort to isolate North Korea over its nuclear weapons program.

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