The European Council has strengthened EU restrictive measures against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) because the recent nuclear test and ballistic missile test on 12 December 2012.
The EU decision gives effect to measures provided for in UN Security Council resolution 2087, which includes a number of additional designations and brings the total number of people subject to a travel ban and an asset freeze to 26 while the total number of entities targeted by an asset freeze now amounts to 33.
The Council also agreed EU autonomous sanctions (i.e. not derived from UN measures): it banned the export and import key components for ballistic missiles with the DPRK, such as certain types of aluminium used in ballistic missile-related systems. The precise scope of that provision will be defined in implementing legislation that is yet to be adopted.
The Council also prohibited trade in new public bonds from the DPRK. It outlawed trade in gold, precious metals and diamonds with North Korean public bodies and stopped the delivery of new DPRK denominated banknotes and coinage to the central bank of the DPRK. North Korean banks will no more be allowed to open new branches in the European Union nor establish joint ventures with European financial institutions. Nor will European banks be permitted to establish offices and subsidiaries in the DPRK. Finally, the Council took steps enabling future restrictions against individuals and entities involved in trade with the DPRK in conventional arms or nuclear and ballistic components.