He said the sanctions were imposed to complement a Security Council resolution on Sept. 11 that represented the strongest penalties yet imposed by the world body on North Korea for its repeated nuclear and missile tests over the past decade.
The eight banks, which the Treasury statement described as operators in North Korea’s financial services industry, were identified as: 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.
Under American sanctions, any property under United States jurisdiction that is owned by designated entities or people can be seized. Those targeted by the sanctions also are banned from doing business with American citizens.
Political analysts said Treasury sanctions would, at the least, cause new disruptions for Mr. Kim’s overseas revenue streams, forcing North Korea to find other ways to move money.
“This is a valuable step forward because it will further squeeze the North Korean regime, interdict its access to foreign exchange, and narrow Pyongyang’s options as it seeks to do business around the world,” said Evans J.R. Revere, a Korea expert who is a former deputy assistant secretary of state.
The Treasury action came a day after North Korea’s foreign minister, Ri Yong-ho, said his country regarded the Trump administration’s recent statements and actions, most notably President Trump’s threat to destroy North Korea, as a “declaration of war.”
Mr. Ri said that North Korea now had the right to shoot down American warplanes even if they were operating in international airspace. Trump administration officials called Mr. Ri’s accusations absurd.
Asked on Tuesday about the North Korean foreign minister’s remarks, Mr. Trump said the United States did not prefer a military option in dealing with the crisis.
“But if we take that option, it will be devastating — I can tell you that — devastating for North Korea,” Mr. Trump told a news conference in the White House Rose Garden after talks with Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of Spain.
Mr. Trump also reiterated his view that he had inherited the problem of an increasingly belligerent North Korea from previous White House administrations that had failed to stop its drive to be a nuclear-armed state.
“North Korea is a situation that should have been…