State-Owned Bank of China Cuts All Ties with North Korea
DPRK TradeIn the latest evidence of deteriorating relations between China and North Korea, the state-owned Bank of China has stopped dealing with North Korea's Foreign Exchange Bank. This is in accordance with US financial sanctions imposed last March. The US will not deal with any financial institution that does business with North Korea. On this past week's episode of LinkAsia, we aired a piece from Japan's public broadcaster, NHK, who covered the story on May 7.

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Reporter:
Reuters News Agency says the state-owned Chinese bank notified North Korea's foreign trade bank that it was stopping all transactions. US officials hit the North Korean bank with sanctions in March banning any exchanges with US firms or individuals. They accused the bank of helping to finance Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program. Officials at Bank of China gave no reason why they were closing the North Korean account, and state run media have not reported on the story.
 
 

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North Korea Remains Defiant After New Sanctions Imposed
(LinkAsia: January 25, 2012)
Thuy Vu:
North Korea has reacted bitterly to a UN resolution that condemned the North's rocket launch last month and imposes new sanctions. Pyongyang said the launch was to send up a communications satellite. The US and most other countries said it was designed to test a long-range missile and was part of North Korea's goal of acquiring weapons of mass destruction. Here's Japan's public broadcaster NHK.

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NHK World NEWSLINE
Airdate: January 23, 2013

Reporter:
Security Council members passed their resolution unanimously. It expands existing sanctions, adding four individuals and six organizations, including the space agency. Assets will be frozen, and individuals will also face a travel ban.

Officials in Pyongyang are showing defiance. Foreign Ministry representatives issued a statement, condemning the resolution as an attempt to deprive North Korea of its right to launch a satellite for peaceful purposes. The document says it is now clear the US has a policy of hostility toward North Korea. As a result, it says that the North will no longer recognize the joint statement from the Six Party Talks in 2005. That includes plans for the country to abandon all nuclear weapons and programs.

The statement goes on to say North Korean authorities will take practical steps to strengthen their defensive military power to counter pressure from US sanctions. It says that includes nuclear deterrence. The wording suggests North Korean officials could conduct a third nuclear test. They carried out one in 2006, and one in 2009.
 
 

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Three Party Talks Promise Action if DPRK Tests Nukes
(LinkAsia: May 25, 2012)
Yul Kwon:
Senior diplomats from South Korea, the United States, and Japan met in Seoul to discuss North Korea. They agreed to take concerted action against the Communist regime if it tests another nuclear weapon. Here’s NHK with the report.

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NHK World NEWSLINE
Airdate: May 21, 2012

Reporter:
The diplomats are chief delegates to the six-party talks on the North’s nuclear program. It’s the first time the group’s met since North Korean authorities failed last month to launch what they called a rocket.

Shinsuke Sugiyama, Japanese Foreign Ministry:
If DPRK goes for further escalation, we ought to take unified and coordinated actions and responses.

Glyn Davies, US Special Representative for North Korea Policy:
We’re united in our resolve to respond. Not just the three allies, but Russia and China as well.

Reporter:
US delegate Glyn Davies again pushed China to play a greater role in preventing North Korean officials from carrying out provocative acts. The UN Security Council adopted a statement condemning last month’s launch. That sparked concerns the North’s leaders could respond with a new nuclear test.
 
 

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