S Korea will open banks after lifting of N Korea’s sanctions

Seoul [South Korea], Oct 27 (ANI): A top South Korean financial regulator has said that Seoul will only open bank branches in North Korea after international sanctions are lifted in return for concrete steps by Pyongyang to discontinue its nuclear weapons programme and achieve complete denuclearisation. Chairman of the Financial Services Commission (FSC) Choi Jong-ku was quoted by Yonhap News Agency as saying that the two Koreas have not held talks on financial cooperation with North Korea. "Opening bank branches in North Korea will be possible only after conditions are met," he remarked during an audit meeting. Quoting sources, various South Korean banks have been ordered by the US Treasury Department to comply with sanctions on North Korea. The Treasury Department has warned the state-run Korea Development Bank, Industrial Bank of Korea, Kookmin Bank, Shinhan Bank and Nonghyup Bank against conducting business activities with Pyongyang till it achieves complete denuclearisation. While North Korea, on the one hand, repeatedly asserted that it has taken various steps to dismantle its nuclear weapons programme in exchange for a possible sanctions relief, the United States, on the other hand, has reiterated that it will not lift the sanctions unless North Korea achieved "complete and fully verifiable denuclearisation". US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader met for the first time in Singapore in June, wherein the two leaders agreed to jointly work towards the dismantling of the nuclear programme. However, there has been a lack of clarity from Pyongyang's side over its progress, raising questions about North Korea's commitment to achieving complete denuclearisation in the Korean Peninsula. (ANI)
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