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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 December 2018

EU to impose tough new sanctions on North Korea

Measures include ending EU export of oil to the country as well as subjecting more regime officials to asset freezes and travel bans

A second North Korean soldier has fled North Korea in just over a month. Reuters.
A second North Korean soldier has fled North Korea in just over a month. Reuters.

The European Union is expected to impose tough new sanctions on North Korea on Monday as European foreign ministers meet in Luxembourg to sign off on measures designed to punish Pyongyang for developing its nuclear ballistic missile programme.

Members of the 28-member states are set to sign up to plans proposed by the UK, which include expanding the ban on EU investment to all sectors in North Korea, ending EU export of oil to the country, and adding more names to the list of regime officials and companies that are subject to asset freezes and travel bans.

Personal payments permitted to be sent to North Korea will be lowered from €15,000 to €5,000 (around Dh65,000 to Dh21,700). The proposals also place tighter restrictions on North Korean workers in the EU in order to stop money being sent back to help with the regime’s nuclear programme.

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Britain’s Foreign Minister Boris Johnson said imposing diplomatic and economic pressure on the reclusive nation was the best method to halt its missile programme.

“North Korea continues to pose an unacceptable threat to the international community, which is why the UK, working closely with our European allies, has secured a set of stringent new sanctions upon the regime,” Mr Johnson said.

“As I have said before, the North Korean regime must bear full responsibility for the measures that the international community is enacting against it, including these sanctions.

“Maximising diplomatic and economic pressure on North Korea is the most effective way to pressure Pyongyang to halt its illegal and aggressive actions.”