The European Union is set to hit North Korea with
a new round of sanctions next week, in a bid to step up pressure on
Pyongyang after it carried out a nuclear test, diplomats said Friday.
The bloc already has restrictive measures in place against the Asian country, ranging from arms and nuclear technology embargoes to bans on the provision of ship supply services and the exports of luxury goods. Asset freezes and travel bans have also been applied.
The measures to be taken up by EU foreign ministers on Monday could target the financial, precious metal and missile production sectors, one EU diplomat said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. Further travel bans are also being discussed.
The EU sanctions are likely to go further than those applied by the United Nations, according to another diplomat.
"We always find something," he noted.
But the international community has struggled with "limited leverage" on North Korea so far, one Brussels source acknowledged.
The UN Security Council on Tuesday also vowed to start discussions on imposing new sanctions, as part of its efforts to have North Korea abandon its nuclear ambitions.
Pyongyang had confirmed earlier in the day that it "succeeded in the third underground nuclear test" at its northern facility. The blast was twice the size of the last nuclear test in 2009, according to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban-Treaty Organization.
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