August 15, 2011 / 6:00 PM / 8 years ago

Canada tightens sanctions against North Korea

* Canada bans all imports, exports and investment

* Move is symbolic since bilateral trade is insignificant

OTTAWA, Aug 15 (Reuters) - Canada has tightened sanctions against North Korea to punish the secretive Asian nation for “aggressive actions” such as the sinking of a South Korean corvette, the foreign ministry said on Monday.

Canada will ban all exports, imports and new investment as well as outlawing the provision of financial services and technical data to North Korea. Humanitarian efforts and the supply of food and medical supplies are not included.

The sanctions are largely symbolic since bilateral trade last year was just C$12.4 million ($12.7 million), according to Statistics Canada data.

South Korea blames North Korea for the March 2010 sinking of the corvette Cheonan, which killed 46 sailors. The North denies it was responsible.

Canada’s measures will “reinforce the message to the North Korean government that its aggressive actions, such as the sinking of the Cheonan, are unacceptable”, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Canada, which says Pyongyang is a major proliferator of nuclear weapons, is currently boycotting the U.N. Conference on Disarmament because North Korea is chairing it.

$1=$0.98 Canadian Reporting by David Ljunggren; editing by Peter Galloway

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