BEIJING May 7 Bank of China Ltd
has shut the account of a major North Korean bank
which was sanctioned by the United States in March after
Washington accused it of helping finance Pyongyang's banned
nuclear weapons programme.
The Foreign Trade Bank, North Korea's main foreign exchange
bank, had been notified its transactions had been halted and its
account closed, Bank of China said in a statement on Tuesday. No
reason was given for the closure.
Bank of China is the country's number 4 lender.
The move to close the Foreign Trade Bank's account comes
amid growing frustration in China over North Korea's nuclear
weapons and ballistic missile programmes, as well as Pyongyang's
China agreed to new U.N. sanctions against North Korea after
Pyongyang conducted its third nuclear test in February.
Those sanctions target the North's attempts to ship and
receive cargo related to its nuclear and missile programmes and
tighten financial curbs, including the illicit transfer of bulk
The U.N. measures did not address the Foreign Trade Bank.
Washington imposed its sanctions separately, but has since urged
other countries to follow suit.
Among China's other top banks, a spokesman at China
Construction Bank said the bank did not do any
business with the Foreign Trade Bank.
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and
Agricultural Bank of China were not immediately
available for comment.
China is North Korea's traditional ally and its biggest