‘The North Korea crisis is a massive distraction from the real threat posed by China and Russia.’
Chinese support of the North Korean government remains firmly in place and vital to the regime’s survival. Revelations emerged on April 12 that two major Chinese banks are providing a key financial lifeline to the nuclear-armed rogue regime of tyrant Kim Jong-un.
Both the Agricultural Bank of China and China Construction Bank have been “identified in a 2016 U.S. asset-seizure case as providing accounts for a Chinese trading company that helped North Korea launder its money,” Bloomberg wrote.
The two have been shown to hold and transfer cash entering and leaving Pyongyang, and facilitating its laundering through United States financial institutions.
These two banks, China’s second- and third-largest, each have more assets than JPMorgan Chase & Co., America’s largest bank.
In 2016, the Obama administration declined to enforce money-laundering laws against the banks. The Wall Street Journal noted at the time that this decision sent a signal to Beijing that “Chinese banks aiding North Korea are untouchable.”
“[T]he idea of a U.S. ban was soon shelved, primarily because of fears that punishing lenders of that size might send shock waves through the global financial system,” Bloomberg said. “[O]fficials worried about potential systemic damage and retaliatory measures from China.”
U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has so far continued to pass up on enforcing laws against these massive, government-run Chinese banks, apparently over the same fears that they are “too big to sanction.”
“Chinese banks represent the last frontier in Trump’s ‘maximum pressure’ campaign,” said Jonathan Schanzer of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “China’s financial system is still Pyongyang’s financial lifeline, even as the Kim regime finds itself increasingly isolated.”
Illegal Laborers and Gifts
An April 2 report from Radio Free Asia shows that the Chinese government has failed to send North Korean laborers home from working in China. China continues to bring more North Koreans into the country to earn cash for Kim. Employing these laborers violates United Nations Security Council sanctions against North Korea.
Evidence has also emerged showing that Chinese President Xi Jinping lavished Kim and his wife with gifts when they visited Beijing in late March. After analyzing footage from a 40-minute broadcast about the trip that aired on North Korean state tv, Hong Kong’s Apple Daily said the gifts were luxury goods that the Security Council bans selling or gifting to the North. The total value of the gifts is estimated to be nearly $400,000.
“[B]y making the gifts,” the Daily Beast’s Gordon Chang wrote, “[Xi] was telling Washington—and everyone else—he would do what he wanted.”
These recent revelations are only the latest evidence showing China’s support for North Korea and its disdain for Western efforts to pressure the dangerous regime. Despite China’s claims to the contrary, it remains the primary enabler of North Korea, its oppression of its people, and its threats against Japan, the United States and other countries.
‘A Threat Many Times Greater’
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Full article: Chinese Banks Are Laundering North Korean Cash (The Trumpet)