U.S. Treasury Department to sanction North Korean currency exchange

U.S. President Barack Obama's national security advisor recently said the U.S. Treasury Department is imposing sanctions against North Korea's main foreign exchange institution.

President Obama's national security advisor, Tom Donilon, said North Korea's Foreign Trade Bank plays a role in supporting the country's nuclear weapons program. Pyongyang recently conducted a successful nuclear weapons test and has been sanctioned by the United Nations, according to Reuters.

"The United States will not accept North Korea as a nuclear state," Donilon said in a speech at the Asia Society in New York, Reuters reports. "Nor will we stand by while it seeks to develop a nuclear-armed missile that can target the United States."

Donilon indicated that the White House would be willing to negotiate with Pyongyang but said it must take substantive moves to meet its international obligations.

The U.S. Treasury Department said it is in the process of planning sanctions against three individuals connected to the bank, including the chairman of North Korea's Second Economic Committee, according to Reuters.

"North Korea uses FTB to facilitate transactions on behalf of actors linked to its proliferation network, which is under increasing pressure from recent international sanctions," a Treasury Department statement said, Reuters reports.