15 September 2017
By Sunday Elom
The European Union (EU) Thursday expanded its North Korea sanction. This is a step up of pressure from the international community on Pyongyang over its nuclear weapon and ballistic missile programmes.
The EU said it was adding nine individuals and four organisations to the blacklist, including the North Korean state-owned Foreign Trade Bank. According to the EU, the expansion is in line with UN sanctions announced in August after Pyongyang tested an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the United States.
The EU noted that its 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. The EU sanction list has now increased to 103 individuals and 57 organisations.
According to EU, Thursday’s measures targeted North Korea’s main exports, including coal iron, iron ore, seafood, lead and lead ore. Therefore, international powers hope that the economic sanctions will deprive North Korea the resources it needs to pursue its nuclear programme and pressure it into dialogue.
Report by AFP said further measures target “Arms smuggling, joint ventures with foreign companies, banks and its ability to generate revenue and to access the international financial system.”
Meanwhile, the EU is also planning fresh sanctions of its own in addition to the UN measures. The fresh sanctions could include a ban on the sale of luxury goods to North Korea or even steps against the regime leadership.
The North carried out its sixth nuclear test — and most powerful to date — on September 3, sparking international outrage. The round of sanctions given out last Monday were backed by China and Russia.