The European Union sanctioned 17 individuals on Monday, subjecting them to asset freezes and travel bans for activities related to prohibited North Korean activity, a notice on the EU’s Official Journal showed.
The individuals, none of which are currently subjected to UN Security Council (UNSC) designations, all appear to be DPRK citizens.
The decision was made “in view of the continued and accelerated nuclear and ballistic programmes of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), which are in breach of the DPRK’s obligations as set out in several United Nations Security Council Resolutions,” the notice read.
While North Korea is yet to launch a ballistic missile or conducted a nuclear test so far this, the notice referenced the DPRK’s last ballistic missile launch, which took place on November 28.
All of the individuals have previously been identified by the UN Panel of Experts (PoE) tasked with monitoring North Korea sanctions implementation.
The individuals listed have been named as being representatives of several high profile entities involved in North Korea’s illicit activities, including the Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation (KOMID) – a UNSC-designated entity that is known to be one of North Korea’s primary weapons traffickers.
Several individuals were also identified as representatives of KOMID aliases and closely linked entities including Green Pine Associated Corporation, Korea Heungjin Trading Company, Korea Changgwang Trading Corporation, Saeng Pil Trading Corporation, General Precious Metal and Beijing King Helong International Trading Ltd, and Beijing New Technology.
Also featuring heavily in the designations was Pan Systems Pyongyang, an entity last year revealed to be run by North Korean intelligence operatives and involved in the sale of military equipment abroad.
Ryang Sy Nyo, born in Japan and listed as the Director of Pan Systems, as well as Pae Won Chol, Ri Sin Song, Kim Sung Su, and Kim Pyong Chol were also sanctioned for affiliations with the company.
An individual named Pyon Won Gun was also blacklisted as the Director of Glocom, a front company of Pan Systems actively involved in selling military equipment.
Multiple people added to the blacklist also possessed passports which suggested that they were from the DPRK’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), but were not attached to any of the country’s embassies.
Several of the individuals designated, however, were identified as diplomats positioned at DPRK embassies in Bangladesh, South Africa, China, Egypt, and Angola.
North Korea has been known to use its diplomats overseas to conduct illicit affairs and to engage in business for the purpose of generating foreign currency.
In response, UNSC resolutions call on member states to reduce the size of DPRK diplomatic offices in their territory.
Monday’s designations follow a similar action by the European Council in October last year, when it acted on information compiled by the PoE and designated three individuals and six entities.
Edited by Oliver Hotham
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Featured Image: European Commission Schumann Building by jimkillock on 2011-06-19 14:30:58