Vietnam Central Bank Investigates North Korean Accounts

Daily NK
Yang Jung A

Vietnam, 1 of 10 Countries with North Korean Accounts

After the U.S. financial sanctions last year, the Kim Jong Il regime has set-up accounts with 23 banks from 10 countries including Vietnam, Mongolia, Thailand and Russia. The U.S. now sends a warning to countries with financial relationships with North Korea.

On the 20th, U.S. data and analytics provider ‘Bloomberg’ published a report by Professor Lee Young Hwa of Japan’s Kansai University, stating that Vietnam has set-up at least 10 accounts with North Korea.

Furthermore, the report stated that North Korea has established accounts with other South-East Asian countries and parts of Europe.

Professor Lee said “Through counterfeit money, fake cigarettes and illegal acts, North Korea is not conducting lawful trade nor initiating proper bank accounts. This report depicts the true melancholic situation of North Korea.”

After his visitations to South Korea, Vietnam and Singapore, on July 18th-19th, U.S. Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI) Stuart Levey, informed Bloomberg’s to alert and warn countries with financial ties to North Korea.

Following the U.S. warning, Vietnam Central Bank began investigations on Vietnam’s City Bank accounts with North Korea.

In addition, on the 19th a newspaper Sankei Shimbun also reported that 23 banks of 10 countries had established financial accounts with North Korea.

The newspaper which cites news and issues on North Korea, reported that Vietnam, Mongolia and Russia were a few of the 10 countries associating with North Korea.

Further, the newspaper revealed that the U.S. is insisting that it would freeze banks in order to intervene in North Korea’s transfer of funds,

U.S. authorities say that the affect of the U.S. financial sanctions was stronger than the affect of Banco Delta Asia. As a result, it appears that North Korea began to instigate accounts with countries in South-East Asia in which it already has international relationships.

It was reported that North Korea began to use hidden personal identities to open accounts so as to avoid regulations and account freezes.


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