tv Treasury Secretary Holds News Conference on North Korea Sanctions CSPAN September 22, 2017 3:01am-3:12am EDT
c-span's "washington journal" live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. morning, a look at president trump the border fraud commission and work to improve the integrity of elections. joining us will be bob bauer, former chair of the presidential commission on election administration, and then rice university history professor douglas brinkley will share his thoughts about the trump presidency. be sure to watch "washington journal," live at 7:00 eastern this morning. join the discussion. announcer: traveling with the president in new york, treasury secretary steven mnuchin expanded on the president's new executive order. sec. 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 signed an executive order that strengthened the u.s. government's ability to cut off funding to the north korean regime and its weapons development program. despite multiple u.n. security council resolutions, north korean dictator kim jong un continues to threaten the world and his neighbors with provocative nuclear and missile tests. president trump's new executive order significantly expands treasury authorities to target those who enable this regime's economic activity wherever they are located. -- for its weapons and mass destruction and ballistic missile programs. country should be used to facilitate kim jong-un's destructive behavior.
this new executive order will authorize treasury to impose a range of sanctions, such as suspending u.s. correspondents account access to any foreign bank that knowingly conducts or facilitate significance transactions -- significant transactions. these sanctions will be forward-looking and applied to behavior that occurred following today when president trump signed the executive order. foreign financial institutions goingw on notice that, forward, they can choose to do business with the united states or with north korea, but not both. this new executive order enables treasury 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 korea's textile, 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 achieve a d nuclear points lectured as president trump stated in his speech, it is time for all nations to work together to isolate the regime until it ceases its hostile behavior. we will continue to work with our allies and partners to stop north korea from using the global financial system to further the reckless behavior. thank you, and i be happy to take if you questions. and 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. this action is directed at everyone. it is in that way directed -- it is in no way specifically directed 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." a similar application to vessels. 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 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. 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. reporter: could you say more 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 leading to this with the bank of point china? secretary mnuchin: no. there were no previous negotiations. the first time we discussed it was early this morning our time. reporter: did you broach the subject first? secretary mnuchin: i did. i called it into alert in advance, given their close cooperation with us. reporter: i 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. what they did today i assume was -- killing -- i assume was -- 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.
the 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 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. what we have said is 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 we hope that there is voluntary cooperation, but to the extent we would have to cut off banks from the banking system in the united states, which would be significant, 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. reporter: the president earlier thanked xi jinping for his bold actions, so would you say these actions today 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 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 spell out how that will affect them, and how it will affect the u.s. relationship with china with regard to north korea? 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. >> at the end of the day, we heard from u.n. ambassador nikki haley on the new north korea sanctions and the president's we get the u.n. general assembly meeting.