April 19, 2018 / 2:17 PM / 5 months ago

EU blacklists four over financing North Korea's arms program

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union on Thursday imposed travel bans and asset freezes on four people suspected of “deceptive financial practices” to benefit North Korea’s arms program.

The move comes ahead of a planned summit between the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, and U.S. President Donald Trump as world powers are trying to put up pressure on Pyongyang to surrender its nuclear weapons.

The EU did not name the four, but said they brought the number of people on its North Korea blacklist to 59 as well as nine entities. It has also mirrored the United Nations’ sanctions list, which covers 80 people and 75 entities.

Finance ministers of the world’s seven most industrialized countries (G7) said separately on Wednesday that, despite international sanctions, North Korea still had access to the global financial system through “a network of agents, front and shell companies, and complex ownership structures”.

Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Gareth Jones

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