January 11, 2010 09:01
The EU has imposed sanctions targeting North Korea's top leadership over the country's nuclear weapons development. Twelve officials were blacklisted, many of them thought to be leader Kim Jong-il's closest advisers.
The list includes Vice Marshal Kim Yong-chun (74), the minister of the armed forces, as well as Jang Song-taek (64), the director of the North Korean Workers Party's Administration Department who is Kim Jong-il's brother-in-law. Six of 13 members of the powerful National Defense Committee were blacklisted.
At a session of the Environment Council in Brussels on Dec. 22, the EU approved new sanctions against North Korea, including an entry ban on individuals and goods. EU regulations are binding on the 27 member states and overrule individual national laws.
The four other blacklisted committee members are O Kuk-ryol, the vice chairman of the National Defense Commission; Jon Pyong-ho, the secretary of the Central Committee and head of the Committee's Military Supplies Industry Department; Paek Se-bong, the chairman of the Second Economic Committee of the Central Committee; and Ju Kyu-chang, the first deputy director of the Defense Industry Department. Also on the blacklist are Hyon Chol-hae, the deputy director of the General Political Department of the Armed Forces, and Pak Jae-gyong, the deputy director of the Logistics Bureau of the Armed Forces.
So Sang-guk, the chair of the Physics Department at Kim Il Sung University who laid the technical groundwork for the North's nuclear development, and Pyon Yong-rip, the president of the State Academy of Sciences, were also blacklisted.
The EU's last sanctions in 2007 blacklisted only five North Korean researchers involved in nuclear weapons development and those related to trade of nuclear materials such as Ri Hong-sop, the director of the Yongbyon Nuclear Research Center, and Yun Ho-jin, the president of Namchongang Trading.
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