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EU imposes additional sanctions on North Korea over nuclear, missile tests

A woman walks past a television screen showing file footage of a North Korean missile launch, at a railway station in Seoul on April 5. Photograph: (AFP)

AFP Brussels, Belgium Apr 06, 2017, 01.45 PM (IST)

The European Union on Thursday imposed additional sanctions on North Korea over nuclear and ballistic missile tests which it said threatened international security.

The move comes at a time of increased tensions as North Korea presses ahead with nuclear and missile programmes which have badly rattled the United States and its allies Japan and South Korea.

North Korea is high on the agenda of the first summit later Thursday between US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, with Washington pressing Beijing to do more to rein in Pyongyang.

In a statement, the EU called on North Korea to resume talks with the international community, "to cease its provocations and to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programmes as well as other weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programmes."

It said it imposed the new sanctions because North Korea's actions "violate multiple UN resolutions and constitute a grave threat to international peace and security in the region and beyond."

The sanctions include extending an investment ban to "new sectors, namely the conventional arms-related industry, metallurgy and metalworking, and aerospace," it said. 

Additionally, they "prohibit the provision of certain services to persons or entities... namely computer services and services linked to mining and manufacturing in the chemical, mining and refining industry."

Four people were added to the EU's visa ban and asset freeze blacklist, bringing the total to 41. Their names will be published Friday.

Seven entities remain subject to an asset freeze.

The EU has steadily increased its sanctions against North Korea, the previous move coming in late February with Pyongyang in the spotlight after the assassination at the Kuala Lumpur airport of Kim Jong-Nam, the estranged half-brother of leader Kim Jong-Un.

EU sanctions against North Korea date back to 2006 and are part of international efforts to halt a nuclear and ballistic missile programme which experts say is intended to give Pyongyang the capability to hit the US mainland.



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