S. Korea to announce own N. Korea sanctions this week

SEOUL, March 6 (Yonhap) – South Korea will announce its own North Korea sanctions this week after the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) voted to impose stronger sanctions on the belligerent nation, a South Korean official said Sunday.

The sanctions will likely include banning the entry of ships to South Korean ports from third-party countries that have been to North Korea and blacklisting more organizations and personnel related to the North’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD), the official said on the condition of anonymity.

The measures will be made public by the Prime Minister’s Office of the South early this week, the official added.

A truck passes in front of China's Dandong Port bordering North Korea after the United Nations Security Council unanimously voted to strengthen sanctions on North Korea on March 3, 2016. (Yonhap)

A truck passes in front of China’s Dandong Port bordering North Korea after the United Nations Security Council unanimously voted to strengthen sanctions on North Korea on March 3, 2016. (Yonhap)

The UNSC unanimously adopted Resolution 2270 on Thursday, tightening the screws on the communist nation that sparked global outrage with its fourth nuclear test on Jan. 6 and its long-range missile launch on Feb. 7 in violation of U.N. rules.

South Korea has used practically all its cards that could pressure the North toward abandoning its nuclear program, the most notable of which is the shutdown of the inter-Korean industrial complex in Kaesong last month.

Still, expanding sanctions on the North could lead more countries to cut trade with the communist nation, the official said.

“The most important effect we’re expecting is publicizing that these organizations and personnel are problematic to the world,” the official said. “The North will of course be banned from trading with us. That will limit its trade internationally.”

Prohibiting third-party ships from entering South Korea via the North follows the same measure imposed by Japan on Feb. 10.

The addition will likely nullify the Najin-Hassan Project, which has allowed Russian cargo to be transported to the South via the North Korean port of Najin.

In addition to U.N. sanctions, South Korea has imposed its own financial sanctions on four Taiwanese and Syrian organizations and three individuals as being related to the North’s nuclear activities. The new set of measures will likely add more.

Among the likely subjects is Kim Yo-jong, the younger sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who is known to be in charge of the North’s foreign-exchange reserves. South Korea has recently claimed that 70 percent of the income earned by North Korea through the Kaesong Industrial Complex has ended up in the hands of the North’s ruling Workers’ Party of North Korea.

Other potential subjects include the North’s National Defense Commission and Kim’s right-hand man, Hwang Pyong-so.

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