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UN blacklists 27 ships, 21 firms for helping North Korea circumvent sanctions

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The United Nations (UN) Security Council has banned 27 ships, 21 companies and a businessman for helping North Korea circumvent sanctions.

The North Korean oil tankers and cargo vessels along with other ships were specifically banned from ports worldwide for helping Pyongyang smuggle banned commodities or supplying oil shipments.

Acting on a request from the United States, diplomats said it was the largest ever package of sanctions designations on North Korea approved by a council committee.

The move is part of a global crackdown on the smuggling of North Korean commodities in violation of UN sanctions resolutions, which were adopted in response to Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missile tests.

The sanctions were approved as the United States moves to open talks with North Korea on its nuclear drive, with a summit possible between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un by the end of May.

Despite the diplomatic opening, the United States has made clear they will keep the pressure on Pyongyang to shift course by pressing on with sanctions.

Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, has welcomed the “historic” sanctions package, calling it “a clear sign that the international community is united in our efforts to keep up maximum pressure on the North Korean regime”.


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