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Major Chinese bank stops money transfers to North Korea

(Nikkei: February 23, 2016 – p. 7)

 

 By Daisuke Harashima in Dalian, China

 

 The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, one of the top four Chinese banks, has stopped processing money transfers to North Korean companies and other entities, Nikkei learned on Feb. 22. This was disclosed by the bank’s Dandong Branch (in Liaoning Province), which is located near the China-DPRK border. In addition to money transfers, North Korean companies are also not allowed to open new accounts. It is believed that this represents an expansion of restrictions imposed after North Korea conducted its third nuclear test in 2013.

 

 However, because these measures were taken before North Korea’s nuclear test and long-range missile launch in January and February, the linkage with economic sanctions is unclear. In answer to a question on this on the same day, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said she had “no knowledge” of this matter. It is reckoned that these are steps taken by the bank at its own discretion.

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