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Seoul bares sanctions against Pyongyang

/ 09:09 AM November 06, 2017

South Korean President Moon Jae-In. (AFP FILE PHOTO)

South Korea announced on Monday a fresh set of unilateral sanctions against Pyongyang, a day before United States President Donald Trump arrives in Seoul on an Asian tour dominated by North Korea’s nuclear program.

A total of 18 North Korean bankers stationed in China, Russia, and Libya with suspected links to Kim Jong-un regime ‘s weapons program have been blacklisted, a statement posted on the South Korea’s government website showed.

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“Those individuals have worked overseas, representing North Korean banks and getting involved in supplying money needed to develop weapons of mass destruction,” an official at Seoul’s foreign ministry said, according to Yonhap news agency.

All 18 have already been sanctioned by the US, and the announcement came a day before Trump – who has accused South Korean President Moon Jae-In of “appeasement” – was due to arrive in Seoul.

The latest move bars South Korean individuals and entities from transacting with those on the list. It will be largely symbolic given a lack of inter-Korean economic ties, but is likely to draw an angry response from Pyongyang.

It also follows a new round of sanctions adopted by the United Nations Security Council in September following North Korea’s sixth nuclear test and a flurry of missile launches in recent months.

In 2016, South Korea unilaterally closed operations at the jointly-run Kaesong Industrial Complex, saying the cash from the factory zone was being funneled to North Korea’s weapons program.

The Kaesong Industrial Complex was the last remaining form of North-South economic cooperation, as Seoul banned nearly all business with Pyongyang in 2010 after blaming North Korea for the sinking of one of its naval corvettes.                           /kga

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TAGS: Diplomacy, North korea, Politics, Pyongyang, Sanctions, Seoul, South korea
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