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Source says “almost all” Chinese banks have halted transactions with North Koreans

By Keiichiro Azuma in Beijing

 

Yomiuri Shimbun has learned from an informed source on North Korea that almost all banking institutions in China have stopped transactions with North Korean government officials and most other North Koreans. It is possible that China is taking its own measures to apply stronger pressure on the DPRK, which has ignored UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions and continued its development of nuclear arms and missiles.

 

A notice released by the People’s Bank of China [China’s central bank] dated Sept. 11 bans all banking institutions from opening new accounts, transfer of assets of existing accounts, and other transactions by individuals and organizations on the government’s list in light of the Chinese government’s implementation of UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions. The list has not been made public, but it is believed that many North Korean companies and individuals are on this list. The above source says the notice was actually issued about two weeks ago.

 

A North Korean whose bank transactions had been halted said that the bank explained that “this is by order of the (Chinese) government.” He criticized China’s response, stating: “On the surface, the Chinese government is saying that sanctions that will affect the North Korean masses’ livelihood should not be imposed, but it is doing something different.”

 

The Trump administration banned transactions with the Dandong Bank in China in June as part of the U.S.’s unilateral financial sanctions. The latest step taken by China is believed to be an attempt to avoid this U.S. sanction being applied to major Chinese banks.

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