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EU slaps sanctions on N. Korea's state-run insurance company

All Headlines 03:26 April 02, 2016

BRUSSELS, April 1 (Yonhap) -- The European Union blacklisted North Korea's state-run insurance company and its branch in London on Friday as it expanded sanctions on the communist nation for its defiant nuclear and missile tests.

The EU said in an official journal that Korea National Insurance Corporation (KNIC) is "generating substantial foreign exchange revenue which could contribute to the DPRK's nuclear-related, ballistic-missile-related or other weapons-of-mass-destruction-related programs."

The EU also said that the firm's headquarters in Pyongyang is linked to "Office 39" of the North's ruling Workers' Party, which takes care of secret funds of the communist regime.

The blacklisting adds to the EU's previous designation of KNIC's branch in Hamburg, Germany.

On Thursday, the EU also imposed a series of sanctions on the North to carry out the latest U.N. Security Council resolution adopted last month in response to the North's fourth nuclear test in January and its long-range rocket launch in February.

The new U.N. sanctions, the toughest ever to be imposed on Pyongyang, require mandatory inspection of all cargo going in and out of the North, regardless of whether by land, sea or air, while banning its exports of coal, iron and other mineral resources, a key source of hard currency that accounts for nearly half of the country's total exports.

It also prohibits all sales of small arms and other conventional weapons to the North, bans jet and rocket fuel supplies to the country, grounds North Korean flights suspected of carrying contraband and denies vessels carrying illicit items access to ports.
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