Brussels based inter-bank messaging system SWIFT cut off North Korean banks under UN sanctions, after Belgium said it would no longer give authorization for such transactions. This was reported by Reuters.
Belgian foreign ministry cited Pyongyang’s “intensifying provocations”, such as missile launches, as motivation for its decision, which will affect three banks.
However, the Belgian move also follows a United Nations report last month which said any company trading with a designated North Korean bank would be in violation of UN sanctions - even if the company had received an authorization from a European government to do so.
The report from February 27 found evidence that North Korea was relying on continued access to the international banking system to flout sanctions.
The UN position put the Belgian government at odds with UN sanctions as it had given SWIFT exemptions to work with the sanctioned North Korean banks.
Earlier it was reported that Russian banks were picketed in Kyiv: protesters glue posters, spill paint. Protests were organized by the political party National Corps, their goal is to stop the work of Russian banks in Ukraine.