China tells its banks to stop doing business with North Korea

Pauline Gross
September 25, 2017

He said he wanted North Korea, which never reached a formal peace treaty with the South after the 1950-53 Korean War - to attend next year's Winter Olympics to be hosted by South Korea.

The tremor was detected in the Kilju area in the North Hamgyong province by the South Korean meteorological agency and China's official Xinhua News Agency.

The quake was detected in the northern part of Kilju, North Hamgyong Province, just 6 kilometers northwest of where the North conducted its sixth nuclear test on September 3.

China Earthquake Networks Center said 3.4-magnitude earthquake was detected in northwest of North Korea.

According to media reports, the quake is believed to have been caused by a suspected explosion at same location where previous tests have been conducted in Bu North Korea.

China wants to stop North Korea's nuclear and missile development but has warned against pushing the government of Kim Jong Un so hard it collapses or hurting ordinary North Koreans.

The threat risks escalating an already volatile situation, and comes after US President Donald Trump threatened to "totally destroy" North Korea in a speech to the United Nations.

Guterres is due to meet on Saturday with North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-Ho on the sidelines of the assembly to send out feelers on possible diplomatic talks.

In this image distributed September 3, 2017, by the North Korean government, shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at an undisclosed location.

China's Big Four state-owned banks have stopped providing financial services to new North Korean clients, Reuters reported last week, with some measures beginning as early as the end of previous year. It argues that USA hostility has helped to push North Korea into a corner, and talk of destruction reinforces that narrative.

"Our executive order will cut off sources of revenue that fund North Korea's efforts to develop the deadliest weapons known to humankind", Trump said.

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Earlier on Saturday, China said it will limit exports of refined petroleum products from October 1 and ban exports of condensates and liquefied natural gas immediately to comply with the latest United Nations sanctions.

Joseph Cheng of the Chinese University of Hong Kong told Al Jazeera that "China wants to demonstrate its support of the world community's position dissuade North Korea from continuing to hold nuclear tests and long-range missile tests".

North Korean media on Friday issued a statement in response to recent comments by President Trump that the USA could "totally destroy" the DPRK if the situation required it.

But neighboring South Korea and Pyongyang's main rival took a different view saying it might have been a natural quake.

Trump dubbed Kim "Rocket Man" in a speech at the United Nations in which he threatened to "totally destroy" the North if it attacked the USA or its allies.

North Korea has been maintaining a torrid pace in nuclear and weapons tests as it accelerates its pursuit of nuclear weapons that could viably target the United States and its allies in Asia.

In August, China's imports from North Korea were $288.3 million, up 84.4 percent from July and down 1 percent from a year ago, based on data on the customs website. The agency said it was analyzing available data but the initial signs are that it was a natural quake. China is estimated to account for roughly 90% of North Korea's foreign trade, with money and goods flowing back and forth across a land border that runs for 880 miles.

In an exchange with reporters, Mnuchin said: "I'm not going to comment on what I expect North Korea to do".

According to United Nations customs data, China sent 6,000 barrels a day of oil products to North Korea in 2016.

Yesterday's reports that China might really and truly shut off the financial spigot that, with Russian help, has allowed North Korea to evade worldwide efforts to shut down its march to recognized nuclear power with the ability to strike the United States, seemed to indicate China has taken an important step.

Other reports by GizPress

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