N.K. official involved in missile development removed from British blacklist
SEOUL, July 15 (Yonhap) -- Britain has removed a senior North Korean official deeply involved in the communist state's missile development from its blacklist subject to financial asset freezes and other sanctions.
Ri Pyong-chol, a vice chairman of the Central Military Commission of the North's ruling Workers' Party, was taken off the blacklist which was recently updated on the website of the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI), a body under the British finance ministry.
The OFSI said the removal is in line with the European Union's decision to lift Ri from its sanctions list in July 2019. It did not provide further explanation.
Ri had been on the British blacklist since October 2017 when the OFSI placed him on it, saying that he had played a pivotal role in the development of the North's ballistic missiles.
Ri, known for his long and deep involvement in the North's arms development, was recently promoted to key party posts.
He was appointed as the vice chairman of the Central Military Commission in May. Late last year, he was also promoted to a member of the party's politburo, one of the country's most powerful organizations.
He was seen last week in photos walking in the first row, along with key aides to Kim Jong-un, during the leader's visit of the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun to mark the anniversary of his late grandfather and national founder Kim Il-sung, an indication of his recently heightened party status.
Currently, a total of 137 North Korean individuals and 110 entities remain on the British blacklist, according to the website.
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