May 08, 2013 09:23
The state-run Bank of China on Tuesday cut all ties with a key North Korean bank that has been tied to the North's nuclear and missile development plans.
It was the first time a Chinese bank has taken such drastic sanctions against North Korea.
The BOC in a short statement said it is freezing all accounts held by the North Korea's Foreign Trade Bank and halt all financial dealings with the bank. However, it did not say why it made the decision or how much money the North Korean bank's accounts contain.
The decision by one of the four major Chinese banks with global clout is expected to deal a heavy blow to the North Korean regime, which continued financial dealings with other countries through the BOC despite UN and U.S. sanctions.
In March, the U.S. Treasury halted all transactions with the North Korea's Foreign Trade Bank saying it is a financial lifeline for the North's nuclear weapons and missile programs.
AP said the BOC decision was a response from Beijing to Washington's request to halt financial transactions with the North Korean bank.
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