The European Union (EU) on Monday adopted a total ban on EU investment in the Democratic People Republic of Korea (DPRK), in a bid to ratchet up economic pressure on the Northeast Asia country over its ongoing nuclear and ballistic missile program.
The total ban, taking effect immediately, is one of the EU's autonomous measures against the DPRK which was adopted by EU foreign ministers at a meeting in Luxembourg, according to a statement of the Foreign Affairs Council.
The ban was previously limited to investment in the nuclear and conventional arms-related industry. The Council also slapped a total ban on the sales of refined petroleum products and crude oil to the DPRK, and slashed the amount of personal remittances transferred to the DPRK from 15,000 euros (17,7000 U.S. dollars) to 5,000 euros (5,900 dollars). Furthermore, the Council added three persons and six entities to a blacklist of those subject to an asset freeze and travel restrictions, bringing the backlist to 41 individuals and 10 entities.
The EU has carried out all UN sanctions against the DPRK, in addition to its autonomous restrictive measures against Pyongyang.The UN Security Council on Sept. 11 unanimously adopted a resolution to impose fresh sanctions on the DPRK over its nuclear test on Sept. 3 in violation of the previous Security Council resolutions.
The new sanctions severely restrict the DPRK's oil imports, and ban its textile exports worth 800 million U.S. dollars and the remittances from about 93,000 overseas DPRK laborers. Reiterating that the "dual--track approach" and the "suspension for suspension" initiative are practical methods to solve the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang has called on all relevant parties to actively support China's efforts to push for dialogue and negotiation, and play a constructive role for a peaceful solution of the issue.
Pyongyang on Sept. 3 detonated a hydrogen bomb capable of being carried by an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the sixth nuclear test it has undertaken, running counter to relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the goal of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.