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E.U. hits North Korea with transportation, luxury goods sanctions

By
Elizabeth Shim
All 28 countries of the European Union are to block the entry of air and sea vessels coming to and from North Korea, ban the exchange of luxury goods with Pyongyang. Photo by Dimitris Michalakis/UPI
All 28 countries of the European Union are to block the entry of air and sea vessels coming to and from North Korea, ban the exchange of luxury goods with Pyongyang. Photo by Dimitris Michalakis/UPI | License Photo

SEOUL, May 27 (UPI) -- The European Union is hitting Pyongyang with its toughest sanctions yet – which include a ban on all aircraft and ships coming to and from North Korea.

The ban was announced a week after Brussels expanded sanctions to 18 North Koreans heavily linked to weapons proliferation.

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The Council of the EU stated all 28 countries are to block the entry of air and sea vessels, ban the exchange of luxury goods with Pyongyang and strengthen financial restrictions.

That means all North Korean investments in the European Union are to be prohibited.

But the reverse, E.U. investment in North Korea, is only banned in the mining, refining and chemical industries, as well as in "any entities engaged in the [North Korea's] illegal programs," according to the statement.

A South Korean diplomat told local newspaper Donga Ilbo that any ship or aircraft operated by the North and occupied by North Korean crew will be subject to the strongest restrictions.

The E.U. transportation ban is even tougher than the equivalent clause in United Nations Security Council Resolution No. 2270, according to South Korea press.

North Korea doesn't operate any air or ferry routes to the European Union but because the law hits North Korea's logistical capacity, the ban could have an impact on North Korean elites who are responsible for raising foreign currency for the Kim Jong Un regime.

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