LUXEMBOURG • The European Union imposed fresh sanctions on North Korea yesterday as part of international efforts to punish the regime for its nuclear and ballistic weapons programmes.
Foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg signed off on a new package of measures, including a ban on investments in North Korea and on EU exports of oil to Pyongyang. They added the Korean People's Army and Pyongyang's armed forces ministry to the sanctions blacklist, meaning any assets they hold in the EU will be frozen.
They also tightened curbs on North Korean workers in the EU to try and stop money being sent home that could be used for the weapons programmes.
The EU said the new steps were taken in view of the "persistent threat to international peace and stability" posed by Mr Kim Jong Un's regime.
The North carried out its sixth nuclear test - and the most powerful - on Sept 3, sparking fresh sanctions.
More people and entities associated with the Kim regime have been blacklisted and the ceiling for payments that can be made to North Korea has been cut from €15,000 (S$23,950) to €5,000.
A total ban on EU investment in North Korea is now in force, along with a complete halt to sales of crude oil and refined petroleum products.
EU members will instruct their embassies in nations seen as at risk of evading North Korean sanctions to deliver formal warnings to comply.