The Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is targeting eight North Korean banks and 26 individuals "linked to North Korean financial networks" in response to the regime's pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and its ongoing violations of UN Security Council resolutions, the Treasury Department said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.
The North Korean nationals singled out operate in China, Russia, Libya and the UAE and function as representatives of North Korean banks, the statement said.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the action further advances the U.S. strategy "to fully isolate North Korea in order to achieve our broader objectives of a peaceful and denuclearized Korean peninsula."
The sanctions are said by Treasury to complement theapproved by the UN Security Council earlier this month.
The banks that were named by Treasury to be sanctioned are as follows:
- Agricultural Development Bank;
- Cheil Credit Bank;
- Hana Banking Corporation Ltd;
- International Industrial Development Bank;
- Jinmyong Joint Bank;
- Jinsong Joint Bank;
- Koryo Commercial Bank Ltd; and
- Ryugyong Commercial Bank
Joint Chiefs Chairman Joseph Dunford said Tuesday that the U.S. military fully supports "the economic and diplomatic pressure campaign the secretary of State is leading in North Korea."
Despite the heated rhetoric, in which North Korea has even threatened U.S. aircraft, Dunford said he has not yet seen changes in the North that might signal a conflict posture.
"While the political space is clearly very charged right now, we haven't seen a change in the posture of North Korean forces," Dunford said. "We watch that very carefully. We clearly posture our forces to respond in the event of a provocation or conflict."
Dunford also told lawmakers, "We also have taken all the proper measures to protect our allies—the South Koreans, the Japanese—the force, as well as Americans in the area. But what we haven't seen is military activity that would be reflective of the charged political environment that you're describing."
CBS News' Margaret Brennan and Mary Walsh contributed to this report.