Barr targets foreign banks doing business with North Korea in newly filed legislation

10/03/2017 10:44 AM

U.S. Rep. Andy Barr is hoping to impose heavy financial sanctions against North Korea, filing legislation that would target foreign banks that transact with any businesses in the communist country.

The Impeding North Korea’s Access to Finance Act of 2017 would also punish financial institutions that do business with North Korean laborers, zeroing in on an estimated $300 million in wages confiscated by the North Korean government, according to a news release from Barr’s office.

Barr’s legislation, if passed, would dovetail with executive actions by President Donald Trump last week, which imposed additional sanctions on North Korean banks and financial workers living abroad.

The actions come amid escalating tensions between the U.S. and North Korea over the isolated country’s nuclear ambitions.

In a statement, Barr criticized past efforts that combined foreign aid with “half-hearted sanctions” as “highly ineffective” in reining in North Korea.

“That is why I have introduced this legislation that would, if enacted, impose the most far-reaching financial sanctions ever aimed at North Korea,” said Barr, R-Lexington. “In addition to bringing about an economic reckoning for Pyongyang, these sanctions will strengthen the American negotiating position by sending a strong signal to North Korea and its enablers that the status quo is unacceptable.”

Kevin Wheatley

Kevin Wheatley is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News and covers Kentucky politics and all the goings-on at the State Capitol. Kevin was born and raised in Frankfort so he grew up around politics and has always had the drive to follow the political process and hold lawmakers accountable. Before joining Spectrum News Kevin covered government and politics for The State Journal in Frankfort. You can watch Kevin’s work weeknights at 7:00 and 11:30 on Pure Politics, available exclusively on Spectrum News, HD Channels 403 and 715. You can reach him at or 502-792-1135.



  • Geoff Young for Congress wrote on October 04, 2017 06:52 AM :

    Andy Barr is an attorney who is totally ignorant about international law. These sanctions are illegal. Only the UN Security Council has the legal right to impose economic sanctions. The sanctions are also deeply immoral because they are aimed directly at the people of North Korea. Innocent Korean civilians might end up starving to death because Barr thinks their regime should be changed. Finally, the sanctions are likely to fail because China, Russia, and our European allies will judge them to be illegal & therefore non-binding. Barr is a bad Christian intent on torturing the people of North Korea, just as Osama bin Laden was a bad Muslim. He needs to be defeated in 2018 because he’s dragging the reputation of America and Christianity through the mud.

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