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China closes bank account from North

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By The Los Angeles Times
Tuesday, May 7, 2013, 8:21 p.m.

BEIJING — China's largest state-owned bank has closed the account of a North Korean bank accused of funding the North's weapons programs in an apparent sign of Beijing's growing frustration with its ally.

The Bank of China announced on Tuesday that it suspended all transactions by the North Korean Foreign Trade Bank. It did not say how much money was in the accounts or when the action had taken place.

The U.S. Treasury this year called the Foreign Trade Bank a “key financial node” in helping the North Korean regime finance its development of missiles and nuclear weapons.

For years, North Korea has done most of its banking through neighboring China. The suspension of its accounts by Bank of China could lead other banks in the region to reconsider their relationship with the increasingly isolated regime in Pyongyang.

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