The United States is reportedly seeking to impose strong sanctions against Chinese banks as part of efforts to intensify pressure against North Korea over its continued nuclear and missile provocations.

The U.S. government and Congress are believed to be considering action under the judgment that international sanctions against Pyongyang have effectively failed.

In September 2005, Washington took measures against a Chinese bank when the U.S. Treasury Department designated Banco Delta Asia, a Macau front bank for Pyongyang, a primary money laundering concern. The move proved to be effective as it prompted the North to return to the negotiating table. 

Ed Royce, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is known to have submitted to the government a list of 12 Chinese banks subject to the envisioned sanctions, including Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and Agriculture Bank of China.