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Switzerland joins toughened global sanctions on N. Korea

2016/05/19 11:11

SEOUL, May 19 (Yonhap) -- Switzerland has joined the United Nations-led efforts to impose toughened sanctions on North Korea for its nuclear test and other provocative actions earlier this year, a U.S.-based media outlet said Thursday.

Radio Free Asia (RFA) said in a report posted on its website that the sanctions, which also included halting financial transactions related to the North, were enforced by the Swiss federal government as of 6 p.m. on Wednesday local time.

The move is in tandem with the toughened United Nations Security Council Resolution 2270, which punishes Pyongyang for its fourth nuclear test in January and long-range rocket launch in February, the report said, citing sources with the Swiss government.

"The latest action by the Swiss government is comprehensive and strong in terms of its extent and scope considering that it touches upon finances, imports and exports, operation of airplanes and ships, and even education," the RFA said.

Under the action, all assets directly and indirectly owned by the Workers' Party of Korea and its other state agencies through Swiss banks will be immediately frozen.

Swiss banks are not allowed to open their branches or offices in the North, and if they have any, they should be shut down by June 2, according to the report. North Korea's overseas bank branches and offices should also be closed by that date.

All exports bound for the North should be approved by the Swiss government in advance before being shipped to the country. Such products as luxury watches, snowmobiles, and golf and ski equipment are prohibited from exports, the report said.

North Korean students in Switzerland will not be allowed to take classes on advanced physics, and computer and nuclear engineering, while any military drills previously carried out for North Korean officials will also be banned.

Financial resources needed for the North to run its diplomatic missions in the country, however, were excluded from the sanctions, the report noted.

kokobj@yna.co.kr

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