Crackdown Begins: Chinese Banks Are Suspending North Korean Transactions

Monday, September 11, 2017
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
ZeroHedge.com
Sep 11, 2017

In what may be a major breakthrough in the diplomatic and political stalemate over North Korea if confirmed officially, Japan’s Kyodo newspaper reported overnight that Chinese state banks have started suspending transactions through accounts held by North Koreans, making it nearly impossible to do business between the two countries. Furthermore, Kyodo News has confirmed that branch offices of at least three major state banks – the Bank of China, China Construction Bank and Agricultural Bank of China – in the northeastern border city of Yanji have also banned North Koreans from opening accounts.

The Chinese banks have yet to freeze the accounts, meaning that North Koreans can still withdraw money from them – similar to bitcoins held in Chinese exchanges – but they are now prevented from making deposits or remittances, according to the sources quoted by Kyodo.

“This is being influenced by international sanctions against North Korea,” an employee of one bank said.

The bank restrictions, which the sources said from April were also starting to be put in force in Liaoning Province – the main region of trade between China and North Korea – suggest that China may have become more serious about curbing its nuclear ambitions, something we hinted at last week in “It Looks Like North Korea Is No Longer Playing To The Chinese Script”. The restrictions also appear to be intended to help major Chinese banks avoid being hit by sanctions imposed by the United States and other countries.

In late June, the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump labeled a regional bank based in the northeastern border city of Dandong “a foreign bank of primary money laundering concern,” and unilaterally sanctioned another Chinese firm and two Chinese individuals for links to Pyongyang’s arms development; China’s reaction was understandably angry, which is why it is even more surprising that Beijing has volunteered to proceed with such a unilateral crackdown on its own.

The Rest…HERE

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