EU expands N.Korea sanctions

AFP , Thursday 14 Sep 2017

European Union flags flutter outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, in this file picture taken October 28, 2015 (Photo: Reuters)

The EU expanded its North Korea sanctions list on Thursday, as the international community builds pressure on Pyongyang over its nuclear weapon and ballistic missile programmes.

The 28-member bloc said it was adding nine individuals and four organisations to the blacklist, including the North Korean state-owned Foreign Trade Bank, in line with UN sanctions announced in August after Pyongyang tested an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the United States.

The EU decision relates to sanctions approved by the United Nations Security Council in August, and not the latest measures, which the UN panel approved on Monday.

International powers hope that economic sanctions will deprive the North of the resources it needs to pursue its nuclear programme and pressure it into negotiating.

There are now 103 individuals and 57 organisations on the EU list.

The EU said Thursday's measures targeted the North's main exports, including coal iron, iron ore, seafood, lead and lead ore.

Further measures target "arms smuggling, joint ventures with foreign companies, banks and its ability to generate revenue and to access the international financial system".

The EU is also lining up fresh sanctions of its own in addition to the UN measures -- these could include a ban on the sale of luxury goods to the north or steps against the regime leadership, even Kim himself.

The North carried out its sixth nuclear test -- and most powerful to date -- on September 3.

The blast sparked international outrage, prompting the Security Council's resolution on Monday that backed the new sanctions against Kim Jong-Un's regime.

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