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(LEAD) S. Korea to add N. Korean firms, individuals on independent sanctions list

All News 17:17 December 10, 2017

(ATTN: CHANGES slug; UPDATES with additional information, more background in paras 4-8)

SEOUL, Dec. 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will add 20 North Korean organizations and 12 individuals to its sanctions blacklist, as part of its ongoing efforts to cut off international funding for Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs, a senior official said Sunday.

The new sanctions, which will go into effect Monday, come as the international community puts greater pressure on the reclusive regime that has threatened the world with weapons of mass destruction.

"It is expected that the updated sanctions will block the inflow of illegal financial funding into North Korea and raise the risk of trading with such organizations and individuals," the official at Seoul's foreign ministry said.

An official from the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said the updated list will send a clear message of continued efforts to rein in North Korea's evolving nuclear and missile capabilities to the communist state as well as the rest of the world.

"It is part of an effort to keep pace with the rest of the international community," the ranking official told reporters while speaking on the condition of anonymity, noting the U.S. was taking similar measures as well.

"Even though it may not have any practical effect, it will have a clear effect of sending a symbolic message of our efforts to stop North Korea's weapons development and block the inflow of illegal funds (to the North)," the official said.

The new list comes about two weeks after Pyongyang launched an apparent intercontinental ballistic missile, marking the resumption of its missile provocations after a 75-year hiatus.

The communist state has staged 11 missile tests since South Korea's Moon Jae-in administration took office in May. It has also conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test so far on Sept. 3.


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