The European Union has tightened sanctions against North Korea in response to its recent nuclear test and ballistic missile test conducted on 12 December.
This is the EU's first step in defense of the international non-proliferation regime.
A decision to implement sanctions approved by the UN in January, and to include autonomous EU restrictive measures was taken at the European Foreign Affairs Council meeting on Monday.
The decision gives effect to measures provided for in UN Security Council resolution 2087. As this includes notably a number of additional designations, this will bring the total number of persons subject to a travel ban and an asset freeze to 26 while the total number of entities targeted by an asset freeze now increases to 33.
Besides, the Council agreed EU autonomous sanctions. It banned the export and import of key components for ballistic missiles with Pyongyang, such as certain types of aluminium used in ballistic missile-related systems. The precise scope of that provision will be defined in implementing legislation that is yet to be adopted.
The Council also prohibited trade in new public bonds from North Korea. It outlawed trade in gold, precious metals and diamonds with North Korean public bodies and stopped the delivery of new North Korea denominated banknotes and coinage to the central bank of the country. North Korean banks will no more be allowed to open new branches in the European Union nor establish joint ventures with European financial institutions. European banks will not be permitted to establish offices and subsidiaries in North Korea.
The European Union foreign ministers also took steps enabling future restrictions against persons and entities involved in trade with North in conventional arms or nuclear and ballistic components.
They expressed their political determination to consider further restrictive measures in consultation with key partners.
The restrictive measures will come into force on Tuesday, when they will be published in the Official Journal, the Council said in a press release.
by RTT Staff Writer
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