The U.S. State Department on Wednesday said it is carefully tracking North Korea's money flow with regard to financial sanctions it will impose against the Stalinist country early next month, and that the additional sanctions will target dealings related to North Korean leaders.

In a press briefing on Wednesday, State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said, "Our focus is on transactions that get at specific areas of concern to us related to [weapons of mass destruction] proliferation activities and related to the [North Korean] leadership that promotes the policies that are of greatest concern to us."

"There are existing international sanctions," he also said. "All countries regard – have obligations under existing sanctions, including [UN Security Council] Resolution 1874, and we would expect all countries to join us in putting pressure on North Korea through a variety of ways to change their course of action."

Asked about a news report that North Korean leader Kim Jong-il is handing over his slush funds stashed away at overseas banks to his third son and heir apparent Jong-un, Crowley said, "On particular thing – actions like that, I would probably defer to the Department of Treasury. We clearly are focused on funds as they move to and from North Korea."

Meanwhile, in a recent interview with Radio Free Asia, Bonnie Glaser, a senior fellow with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, speculated that no matter how hard Chinese authorities try to stand in the way of the U.S. imposition of financial sanctions against the North, Chinese banks, which are mindful of their relations with U.S. financial institutions, will avoid dealings related to the North on their own.

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