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3 N. Korean banks banned from key international financial network

3 N. Korean banks banned from key international financial network

Posted March. 09, 2017 07:03,   

Updated March. 09, 2017 07:11


The U.S. daily Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported Tuesday (local time) that three North Korean state banks have been recently banned by the world’s most important financial messaging service, as the international community accelerates efforts to cut off the communist state’s funding sources for its nuclear and missile development.

The Belgium-based Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), told the WSJ that it stopped providing services to all the North Korean banks under the United States sanctions after receiving instructions from the Belgian government earlier this year. The three banks are Korea Daesong Bank, Korea Kwangson Banking Corp. and Bank of East Land. A recent U.N. report said that the banks had made dollar transactions through the SWIFT network until last year despite the sanctions.

The SWIFT is an organization established in 1977 by U.S. and European banks to facilitate international commerce and banking transactions. Currently, some 10,800 financial institutions in about 200 countries are using the network. The WSJ reported that the latest ban had completely isolated North Korea from the international financial system.

In 2012, the U.S. and the European Union denied 30 Iranian banks, including Iran’s central bank, access to the SWIFT network. Unable to make dollar transactions for its oil exports, Tehran started dialogue with Washington.

Eun-A Cho achim@donga.com