Skip to main content

tv
Steve Mnuchin
Archive
  Treasury Secretary Holds News Conference on North Korea Sanctions  CSPAN  September 21, 2017 7:27pm-7:38pm EDT

7:27 pm
earlier today president trump said the u.s. would impose additional sanctions on north korea. after those comments, steve nugent, the treasury secretary, held a briefing in new york city to discuss the sanctions. --s is 10 minutes to read this is 10 minutes. secretary mnuchin: hello everybody. nice to see you. glad to be here with all of you. it has been a very productive week at the united nations. i have been pleased to be here with the president. today the president strengthened, he signed an executive order that strengthened the u.s. government ability to cut off funding to the north korean regime and its weapons development program.
7:28 pm
despite multiple un security council resolutions, north korean dictator kim jong on continues to threaten the world and his neighbors with provocative nuclear and missile tests. president trump's new executive order significantly expands treasury's authorities to target those who enable this regime's economic activity, wherever they areorder located. for too long, north korea has evaded sanctions and used in the international financial system to facilitate funding for its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. no bank in any country should be used to facilitate kim jong un's behavior. this order will allow treasury to impose sanctions, such as suspending access, to any
7:29 pm
foreign bank that knowingly conducts or facilitates significant transactions tied to trade with north korea. these sanctions will be forward-looking, and applied it to behavior following today, when president trump signed an executive order. foreign financial institutions are now on notice him a that going forward they can choose to do business with the united states, or north korea, but not both. this new executive order enables to freeze assets of anyone conducting significant trade in goods, services, or technology with north korea. it also allows us to freeze assets of actors supporting north korean tactile, fishing, i.t. and manufacturing industries. we call on all countries around the world to join us, by cutting off all trade and financial ties with north korea, in order to
7:30 pm
arized koreanucle peninsula. as president trump stated in his speech to the un's general assembly, it is time for all nations to work together to isolate the kim regime until it ceases its hostile behavior. we will we will continue to work with our allies and partners to stop north korea from using the global financial system to further kim's reckless behavior. thank you. i would be happy to take a few questions. reporter: can you explain what kinds of conversations you will have? secretary mnuchin: i had a very productive conversation with governor cho of the people's bank of china. we are going to work together.
7:31 pm
this action is directed at everyone. it is in that way directed specifically at china, and we work forward to working very closely with them. reporter: can i just read a quick section? i want to understand. no aircraft in which a foreign person has an interest that lands in north korea may not land in the united states within 180 days. is there any way you could put a number on how many ships or aircraft would have been affected by this, so we can get a sense of the scale? secretary mnuchin: that is another important aspect of the eo. we will be working very closely with the coast guard and others on this. i'm not prepared to give you a
7:32 pm
number, but it is very significant. and, further, we can put actions against ports, as well. reporter: why will this round of sanctions work when others have failed? secretary mnuchin: let me be clear. i don't think other sanctions have failed, but these sanctions are very significant. not only does it allow us to sanction individuals or entities , but it allows us to freeze or block any transactions with any financial institution, anywhere in the world, that facilitates any transactions with the blocked person. reporter: do these sanctions include a plan to target north korean companies and individuals around the world? secretary mnuchin: yes, it does. reporter: any plans for future sanctions? secretary mnuchin: again, i will never comment on future sanctions, but we continue to review all options. reporter: does this represent a rejection of the u.n. security council? secretary mnuchin: no. we very much appreciate the un security council resolution, and the unanimous support to that. this goes beyond it.
7:33 pm
reporter: what does this do that you couldn't get done through the security council? secretary mnuchin: again, this allows us to block any financial institution that does not follow through on the u.n. sanctions, or additional sanctions. reporter: when do you expect to make a designation? secretary mnuchin: we do designations on a rolling basis. they obviously start today. this is forward-looking, not backwards-looking. you say moreld about your discussion with the central bank of china? secretary mnuchin: those conversations are confidential, but as i said, i had a very productive conversation this morning. reporter: piggybacking on that -- the timeline of it -- has there been previous negotiations before with the bank of china? secretary mnuchin: no. there were no previous negotiations.
7:34 pm
the first time we discussed it was early this morning our time. i called it into alert in advance, given their close cooperation with us. want to ask part of the same question, which is that china had given some indication a week and a half ago with some actions. what they did today was completely separate from what they indicated earlier. secretary mnuchin: again, i'm not going to make any comments about what they did earlier. reporter: can i ask my other question? secretary mnuchin: why don't we come back to you so we can get other people in here. reporter: do you believe china's actions today reduce the need for further secondary sanctions on chinese entities. secretary mnuchin: again, we look forward to working with them at a very cooperative way. we look forward to working with all our partners. what is important about this is the additional authorities the treasury has. reporter: can you put this in a context of the president's speech earlier in the week, when
7:35 pm
he talked about more military action? how do these things work together, and what you expect north korea to do in response? secretary mnuchin: i'm not going to comment on what expect north korea to do. the objective is for them to stop their missile test and give up their nuclear weapons. as it relates to -- this is something that has been in the works for a while. i alluded to this a couple of weeks ago, that i had been discussing with the president, and this was part of the president's strategy at the u.n. this week. reporter: secretary tillerson has said it took a while for the last round of sanctions to have an impact, for north korea to feel them. is there a timeline that you are looking at, in which case? secretary mnuchin: there is no timeline we are looking at. this is forward action on this. again, i would emphasize, the -- we hope that there is
7:36 pm
voluntary cooperation, but to the extent we would have to cut off banks to the banking system in the united states, we now have those tools to do that. reporter: have you called any other country's central bank? secretary mnuchin: i'm not going to comment on confidential conversations i have had with other countries. i am confirming that i did speak with them this morning. i am not going to comment on other confidential discussions. the president earlier thanked xi jinping for his bold actions, so would you say these actions were enough? also, would you call on russia to put more pressure on north korea? secretary mnuchin: we will call on russia to do more. president trump and president xi have had very productive conversations, and we appreciate the way they are working with us. i'm going to take one more. reporter: i would like to
7:37 pm
follow-up on my initial question. you said this is not targeted at china specifically, but china is the largest trading partner with north korea. can you tell us how that will affect them, and how it will affect the u.s. relationship with china? secretary mnuchin: this is targeted at north korea, and anybody that wants to do trade or business with them. we appreciate the relationship with china, and we look forward to working with them. thank you, everybody. announcer: we heard more about the north korea sanctions with you and ambassador nikki haley. briefing in new york city and also discussed the iranian nuclear deal and the ongoing concerns over human rights in myanmar. this is 25 minutes.