Seoul enforces new round of financial sanctions on North Korea

South Korea imposes financial sanctions on 20 North Korean companies and 12 individuals on Monday. File Photo by Mark Garten/UN/UPI

SEOUL, South Korea, Dec. 11 (UPI) —┬áSouth Korea has frozen the assets of 20 North Korean companies and 12 individuals believed to be channeling funds to the regime’s nuclear and missile program.

The new round of sanctions were enforced Monday, 12 days after the North’s Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile test and just over a month after the South blacklisted 18 North Korean entities.

“The latest measures will reinforce the importance of the United Nations Security Council’s sanctions on the North as well as raise the stakes of dealing or making transactions with the regime,” Seoul’s unification ministry said Monday.

The blacklist mostly targets banks and shipping companies, including Rason International Commercial Bank, Agricultural Development Bank, Korea Daebong Shipping Company and Yusong Shipping Company.

Individuals hit by the latest sanction include a North Korean spy in Belarus and banking officials based overseas.

Those who trade with these entities without prior authorization will be subject to prosecution of up to three years, or a penalty of up to $274,600.

The unification ministry said it will continue to pursue a peaceful means to resolve the North Korea crisis by bringing Pyongyang back to dialogue through sanctions and pressure.

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