Dozens of Chinese bank accounts holding hundreds of millions of dollars have been linked with Kim Jong-Un, leader of the communist regime in North Korea.
After an investigation spanning several years, U.S. and South Korean authorities found numerous accounts in Shanghai and other cities, including some created during the reign of Kim’s father.
“We have located the names of the account holders and account numbers, some of them set up in the days of former North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il,” a Korean government source told South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo.
However, the Chinese Communist Party is apparently unwilling to include the slush fund accounts in new United Nations sanctions aimed at preventing North Korea from developing nuclear weapons after another nuclear test on Feb. 12.
Beijing agreed to the sanctions, but remains “reluctant to touch North Korea’s real Achilles heel,” the source added.
U.N. Security Council Resolution 2098 was introduced on March 7, without mention of the bank accounts.
According to the South Korean government, freezing the slush funds could be more effective than when the United States froze around 50 of Kim Jong-il’s accounts in 2005, which contained much less money. Kim responded with North Korea’s first nuclear test in 2006.
Speaking at the Asia Society in New York on Monday, Tom Donilon, U.S. national security adviser, said that China should not conduct “business as usual” with North Korea.
“The United States will not accept North Korea as a nuclear state. Nor will we stand by while it seeks to develop a nuclear-armed missile that can target the United States,” Donilon added, according to Reuters.
The U.S. Treasury is placing sanctions on North Korea’s Foreign Trade Bank and senior official Paek Se-Bong for their associations with the country’s weapons of mass destruction program, as tensions escalate following Pyongyang’s announcement that the 60-year nuclear armistice has been lifted.
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