EU Expands Sanctions on N. Korea open the window of AOD

Write : 2017-10-22


The European Union(EU) has banned the sale of oil and oil products to North Korea as part of stronger sanctions on Pyongyang.
The 28-member bloc slapped new sanctions on the North during an EU foreign ministers meeting held in Luxembourg on Monday.
The EU has taken a hardline approach to sanctions on North Korea. It has strictly implemented UN measures since the UN Security Council adopted a sanctions resolution against North Korea's very first nuclear test in 2006. It has also adopted unilateral sanctions of its own to step up pressure on the regime.
The EU wants North Korea to give up its nuclear and missile programs and engage in dialogue with the international community.
Its latest sanctions include a total ban on EU investments in North Korea in all sectors.
Until now, the investment ban had been limited to certain industries, such as those related to nuclear and conventional weapons, mining, oil, chemicals, and space development.
The EU has also slapped a total ban on the sale of refined petroleum products and crude oil to North Korea, compared to a limited ban by the UN. It has also sharply lowered the amount of personal remittances that can be transferred to the North from 15-thousand to five-thousand euros.
Additionally, EU foreign ministers agreed not to renew work permits for North Koreans in the EU, as the wages of North Korean workers abroad sent back home are suspected of being used to finance the North's nuclear weapons program.
Therefore, the estimated 400 North Korean workers in the EU, the majority of which are in Poland, will have to return home after their current permit expires.
The EU has also blacklisted three more top North Korean officials and six businesses, banning them from traveling to EU regions and freezing their assets.
This raises the total to 104 individuals and 63 entities blacklisted by the EU, which is much higher than the 63 individuals sanctioned by the United Nations.
The EU’s new sanctions are powerful but they’re not expected to deal a substantive blow to North Korea as trade is minimal between the two sides.
Trade between the EU and the North stood at about 27 million euros last year, only a tenth of the level in 2006. This is because trade volume has continuously shrunk amid global sanctions.
However, the EU’s latest measures are more symbolic and are aimed at maximizing the political and diplomatic pressure Pyongyang feels on the global stage.

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