The account closure follows a series of UN sanctions imposed on North Korea after its third nuclear test this February. The closure was not directly tied to those sanctions though. The US imposed its own sanctions on the bank following the UN embargo. Japan has already taken up the UN sanctions and Australia is expected to follow suit.
Analysts say this is another sign that Beijing is growing tired of its estranged ally. China has long been North Korea’s biggest economic and political support. But the recent nuclear test and Pyongyang’s belligerent threats have strained relations.Earlier this March, dozens of bank accounts thought to belong to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un were found in China. According to a South Korean newspaper, those accounts contained hundreds of millions of dollars. Despite US and South Korea’s pressure, Chinese authorities refused to close the accounts in its banks.