March 17, 2016 09:44
A North Korean bank operating covertly in the Chinese border city of Dandong has closed down recently, in a further sign that Beijing is now strictly complying with international sanctions against the renegade country.
Sources on Thursday said a branch of Korea Kwangson Banking Corporation in downtown Dandong closed down in late February, and that there are no rumors that it has moved to another region, as North Koreans bank branches have in the past.
North Korean banks in China officially suspended operations after the North's third nuclear test in 2013, but some continued to run illegally in Dandong while Chinese authorities looked the other way.
The banks handled trade financing and loans to businesspeople in the North who engaged in trade with China.
China has also drastically stepped up searches of cargo headed to North Korea, a government source here said, bolstering staff at customs checkpoints.
The official said Beijing is also complying with the most recent UN Security Council Resolution that mandates the seizure of 31 vessels operated by North Korean shipping company Ocean Maritime Management.
A growing number of North Korean restaurants in northeastern China are closing down. "Anti-North Korean sentiment increased in China after the North's latest nuclear test, and the slowing Chinese economy also played a role," the official said.
Chinese authorities also seem to be cracking down on 20,000 North Koreans working there. The main targets are illegals with only entry passes but no work permits.
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