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EU strengthens sanctions against North Korea

(BRUSSELS) - EU ministers strengthened restrictive measures against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea Thursday, and prolonged sanctions over actions against Ukraine's territorial integrity.

The Justice and Home Affairs Ministers' Council adopted the resolution in response to North Korea's ongoing nuclear weapon and ballistic missile-development activities, in violation and flagrant disregard of previous UN Security Council resolutions.

The Council will swiftly transpose the additional sanctions included in the latest UN security Council resolution (2375 of 11 September 2017), which introduces further sanctions on the DPRK, including strengthening some of the measures introduced by UNSCR 2371, for instance on North Korean workers.

The measures introduced by UNSC resolution 2371 (2017) target the DPRK's main exports, imposing a total ban on all exports of coal iron, iron ore, seafood, lead and lead ore. Additional sanctions target the DPRK's arms smuggling, joint ventures with foreign companies, banks and its ability to generate revenue and to access the international financial system. In addition, the EU members states will not allow any more North Korean nationals to work on their territories as they are suspected of generating revenue which is used to support the country's illegal nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

EU member states will also prohibit the opening of new joint ventures and cooperative entities, as well as the expansion of existing joint ventures through additional investments with any entities and individuals from the DPRK.

At the meeting, the Council also prolonged the restrictive measures over actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine for a further six months, until 15 March 2018. The measures consist of asset freezes and travel bans.

Ministers decided that there was no justification for a change in the sanctions regime. The restrictive measures now apply to 149 persons and 38 entities.

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