More major Chinese state-run banks have halted transactions with North Korea, Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported from Beijing on Friday. Bank of China, the nation's biggest foreign exchange bank, suspended transactions with North Korea's state-run Foreign Trade Bank and closed its account on Tuesday. The closure is seen as financial sanctions by the Chinese government on the North for its recent ballistic missile launch and third nuclear test. China is traditionally North Korea's closest ally and a major economic benefactor, KUNA reported.
A spokesperson for China Construction Bank told NHK that it had also halted remittances and other transactions with North Korea. The spokesperson said the bank has consistently carried out operations in strict compliance with instructions from the Chinese authorities and UN Security Council resolutions, according to the report. The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and the Agricultural Bank of China also said they no longer handle remittances to North Korean banks.