Chinese bank ban ‘threatens to tighten chokehold’ on trade with North Korea
Beijing has reportedly ordered Chinese state banks to suspend accounts held by North Koreans. Bank of China (China Construction Bank and Agricultural), border with city of Yanji, Jilin province, had suspended transactions through accounts held by North Koreans. Chinese analysts said: traders might still be able to find loopholes to bypass the ban, but China’s decision not change. Zhang Liangui, a North Korea specialist at the Central Party School, said big transactions, such as Chinese oil exports to North Korea, would be particularly hard hit because banks were integral to the trade. The UN Security Council is expected to vote on Monday a set of new sanctions against North Korea, the US has been pushing for a full ban on oil supplies to the country, North Korea textile exports, for work overseas, as well as an asset freeze. This is not the first time China has tightened its financial sanctions against North Korea. Last year, an ICBC (Industrial and Commercial Bank of China) branch in the border city of Dandong, froze accounts belonging to North Koreans.