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Sanctions on N.K. should focus on limiting non-goods trade: report

All News 14:18 January 19, 2016

SEOUL, Jan. 19 (Yonhap) -- The international community should come up with sanctions against North Korea's trade of non-goods such as exports of the North's workers to cut off its source of hard currency, a report showed Tuesday.

Possible stronger sanctions against the North need to focus on how to restrict the North's trades of non-goods beyond the current sanctions banning the North's trades of specified goods, according to the report by South Korea's state-run Korea Development Institute.

The report said that even without sanctions to be imposed, the North's goods trade is expected to be weighed due to China's economic slowdown and falling oil prices.

"But the North's trade of non-goods including exports of its labor has been on the rise since the first quarter of 2015 and it is likely to further grow," it added. "There is no option for North Korea to earn hard currency other than an expansion of non-goods trade."

The United Nations Security Council is working on fresh sanctions against North Korea over the North's latest nuclear test. The North has already been under a heavy set of U.N. sanctions due to its previous nuclear and missile tests.

More than 50,000 North Koreans have been forced to work abroad, mainly in China and Russia, as the North seeks to earn hard currency, according to a U.N. report.

A South Korean civic group said last month that the North's purpose is to rake in hard currency to avert economic hardship under U.N. sanctions and US$200 to $300 million is presumed to be sent to North Korea annually.


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