Seoul Tightens Sanctions Against Pyongyang

  • By Kim Jin-myung

    December 02, 2016 11:39

    Seoul announced unilateral sanctions against North Korea on Friday to throttle the flow of money into the regime's nuclear and missile programs.

    The aim is to supplement a fresh sanctions package adopted by the UN Security Council on Wednesday in response to the North's latest nuclear test in September, a government spokesman here said Thursday.

    Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se said the U.S. and Japan will also announce their own plans to further tighten sanctions against the North.

    The fresh UN sanctions slap limits on coal exports on the North and ban trade in precious metals. South Korea's own sanctions will include blacklisting China's Hongxiang Industrial Development, which is thought to handle much of the trade between China and North Korea and became the target of a secondary boycott from the U.S. in September.

    It is the first time Seoul has targeted a Chinese company over dealings with the North Korean regime.

    South Korea will also extend the entry ban on ships under flags from third countries if they spend at least six months in North Korean ports, on the assumption that they are either flying flags of convenience or depend solely on trade with the North, meaning they will have to give up on the much bigger South Korean market.

    In a largely symbolic move, Seoul also blacklisted a number of North Korean officials including top apparatchiks Choe Ryong-hae and Hwang Pyong-so.

    Tokyo is soon set to approve a re-entry ban on more members of the influential pro-Pyongyang General Association of Korean Residents in Japan or Chongryon, and to freeze assets of more North Korean enterprises and officials, NHK reported.

    Back in March, U.S. President Barack Obama issued an executive order to blacklist North Korean officials responsible for human rights violations, based on which Washington blacklisted North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on July 6.

    "Washington will highly likely expand the scope of sanctions against Pyongyang through a new executive order this time, too," a government official here said.

    The Obama administration "will likely lay the groundwork for the incoming administration to apply a broader secondary boycott rather than naming specific companies like Hongxiang," a diplomatic source said.

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