Seoul places new sanctions on North Korea over arms buildup

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Seoul, Dec. 2(BNA): South Korea on Friday sanctioned eight people and seven companies suspected of engaging in illicit activities to finance North Korea’s growing nuclear weapons and missile programs.

The move, which prohibits South Koreans from conducting any type of business with them without authorization, was largely symbolic as there are little financial dealings between the rival Koreas, reports AP.

The South Korean sanctions were announced shortly after the U.S. Treasury Department said it sanctioned three members of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party who provided support to the country’s development of nuclear and ballistic weapons.

South Korea’s Foreign Ministry said Seoul’s sanctions were in response to the North’s heightened weapons threat, highlighted by last month’s testing of an intercontinental ballistic missile that demonstrated potential range to reach the U.S mainland.

The eight people and seven companies targeted by Seoul had already been sanctioned by Washington and were involved in a variety of North Korean efforts to evade United Nations Security Council sanctions to finance its weapons program, including ship-to-ship transfers of fuel and illicit exports of labor, the ministry said.

AHN