SEOUL, Dec. 2 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korea unveiled a set of its own punitive measures against North Korea on Friday, blacklisting scores of people and entities suspected of supporting the regime’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
The move came days after the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) unanimously adopted Resolution 2321 on Wednesday condemning the North’s fifth and most powerful nuclear test in September, with the main focus placed on significantly restricting the country’s coal exports deemed to be a major source of its hard currency.
“We have expanded the number of those subject to sanctions by adding to the list 35 entities and 36 individuals that are playing a critical role in developing weapons of mass destruction and contributing to the North Korean regime’s efforts to secure foreign currency,” Lee Suk-joon, the top official in charge of government policy coordination at the Prime Minister’s Office, told reporters.
Included in the blacklist were Choe Ryong-hae, a vice chairman of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers’ Party, and Vice Marshal Hwang Pyong-so, director of the military’s general political bureau, both of whom are regarded as close aides for North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
The Workers’ Party and the State Affairs Commission were also added along with other entities suspected of supporting the regime’s efforts to export its coal and generate earnings.
In particular, Dandong Hongxiang Industrial Development and four of its executives were included on the list, marking the first time that a Chinese firm is facing South Korea’s unilateral sanctions.
The company is under investigation on suspicions that it exported aluminum oxide — a nuclear bomb ingredient — to the North at least twice in recent years. In September, the U.S. blacklisted it along with its owner and other company officials.