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North Korea battles new EU sanctions

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European Union (EU) foreign ministers on Monday adopted a new set of sanctions against North Korea, as pressure mounts on the country to stop its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

The new sanctions, which go beyond measures mandated by the UN Security Council, include a total ban on EU investment in North Korea and a ban on the sale of any refined petroleum products or crude oil to the country.

Individual personal money transfers to North Korea from the country’s nationals living in the EU will also be limited to 5,000 euros (5,900 dollars) from the previous limit of 15,000 euros.

The EU has also decided not to renew work permits for North Koreans in the bloc unless the workers in question are refugees or are under international protection.

The bloc also added three additional persons and six entities to its sanctions list, meaning 41 people and 10 entities are now targeted by the EU sanctions.

Additionally, 63 people and 53 entities are listed under UN sanctions.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini admitted that the lack of economic ties between North Korea and the EU means that “the impact of our sanctions is limited.”

“But there are others that do have relations with [North Korea] that can have a major impact on the regime there,” she said.

The EU continues to work with its partners in the region, notably South Korea, to explore “the possibility of opening a diplomatic, political negotiation pattern,” Mogherini said.

NAN reports that the UN Security Council on Sept. 11 unanimously adopted a resolution imposing fresh sanctions on North Korea over its nuclear test on Sept. 3 in violation of the previous Security Council resolutions.

The new sanctions severely restrict the North Korea’s oil imports, and ban its textile exports worth 800 million U.S. dollars and the remittances from about 93,000 overseas labourers.

Pyongyang on Sept. 3 detonated a hydrogen bomb capable of being carried by an intercontinental ballistic missile, the sixth nuclear test it has undertaken, running counter to relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the goal of denuclearising the Korean Peninsula.
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