China Probes N.Korea’s Bank Accounts

from Chinese authorities have identified most of the accounts of North Korean
companies and individuals in major Chinese banks, a diplomatic source
in Beijing said Wednesday.

Three or four North Korean banks in
Dandong, the biggest trading hub between North Korea and China, have
reportedly closed down.

According to the source, Chinese
authorities have combed through all North Korea-related accounts in
major Chinese banks in an effort to implement sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council in the wake of the North’s latest nuclear test.

the process, North Korea apparently tried to dodge detection by opening
new bank accounts under borrowed or false names, but Chinese
authorities traced these accounts too.
If the accounts prove to be linked to illegal activities like nuclear
weapons and missile development, Beijing apparently plans to impose
sanctions on each individual North Korean bank, just as it did when the Bank of China cut ties with the Foreign Trade Bank of North Korea on

Another source in China said, “It seems the U.S.
provided China with indisputable evidence of illegal activities by the
Foreign Trade Bank of North Korea.”

In principle, North Korean
banks in China are barred from remittance and currency exchange business
and are nominally mere liaison offices. But in fact Beijing used to
look the other way when they carried out such transactions for North
Korean agencies and firms.

Now Chinese authorities are taking a tougher line.

Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s own money and cash for the North Korean
military crosses the border in diplomatic pouches to avoid customs
inspections, a North Korean source said.

A North Korean
businessman said, “More than 20,000 Korean Chinese live in Dandong, and
we’ve been dealing with many Chinese for more than a decade. There are
lots of ways to remit money to the North.”

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