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U.S. Senate committee passes N.K. sanctions bill

2017/11/08 04:46

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WASHINGTON, Nov. 7 (Yonhap) -- A United States Senate committee passed a bill Tuesday calling for tighter sanctions against foreign banks that do business with North Korea.

The legislation, which was approved unanimously by the Senate Banking Committee, aims to cut off the flow of funds to North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

It comes as U.S. President Donald Trump is in Seoul on a five-nation Asia tour that is largely focused on addressing the North Korean threat.

The bipartisan bill "would require the Treasury Department to crack down on foreign financial institutions that support individuals and entities subject to sanctions designed to squeeze North Korea," the committee said in a statement.

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), the panel's top Democrat, said: "It sends a clear message to banks around the world: You can do business with North Korea, or with the U.S., but not both."

   The bill also includes measures to fight human trafficking.

It was unclear when the full Senate would vote on the bill.