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(LEAD) S. Korea slaps its first unilateral sanctions on N. Korea in 5 years over nuke, missile threats

All News 11:20 October 14, 2022

(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with details; RECASTS headline; ADDS byline)
By Yi Wonju

SEOUL, Oct. 14 (Yonhap) -- South Korea said Friday it has put 15 North Korean individuals and 16 institutions on its blacklist in its first unilateral sanctions against Pyongyang in nearly five years in response to its evolving nuclear and missile threats highlighted by unrelenting missile launches and the stated drills by tactical nuclear operation units.

The people on the new list include officials at shipping firms and organizations related to the North's missile program, as well as those involved in the procurement of supplies for weapons of mass destruction.

"We strongly condemn North Korea for staging a series of missile provocations with unprecedented frequency recently and suggesting the use of tactical nukes against us," the foreign ministry said.

The new sanctions come as the North has ratcheted up tensions on the peninsula with a barrage of provocative missile launches in recent weeks amid growing concerns it may soon conduct a nuclear test.

This marks the first time the South Korean government has slapped sanctions on the North since 2017, following Pyongyang's sixth nuclear test. It is the first set of sanctions against the North since the launch of the Yoon Suk-yeol administration in May.

(LEAD) S. Korea slaps its first unilateral sanctions on N. Korea in 5 years over nuke, missile threats - 1

The ministry said it would consider slapping additional sanctions on Pyongyang in case it stages further provocations.

"The latest unilateral sanctions hold importance in that (such a measure) was taken for the first time in five years and this is not the end," a ministry official told reporters on condition of anonymity. "We plan to impose additional unilateral sanctions against North Korea's provocations and to discuss ways to improve the effectiveness of sanctions in close coordination with the United States, Japan, Australia, the EU and other friendly countries."

The listed individuals include those from Korea Ryonbong General Corp., known as a defense conglomerate specializing in acquisition for North Korea's defense industries, and Second Academy of Natural Sciences, now known as Academy of the National Defense Science, which is responsible for the development of ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons.

The institutions, mostly shipping companies, include the Ministry of Rocket Industry, Hapjanggang Trading Corp., Korea Rounsan Trading Corp. as well as the North's Maritime Administration and Ministry of Crude Oil Industry.

The latest sanctions by Seoul are widely viewed as largely symbolic, as all transactions between the two Koreas have been virtually banned for years. The individuals and entities are already on the blacklist announced by the U.S. government from December 2016 to May 2022, according to the ministry.


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