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Russia joins U.N.-led sanctions on N. Korea: media report

2016/05/20 10:36

SEOUL, May 20 (Yonhap) -- Russia has joined other countries to impose sanctions on North Korea in line with the United Nations' push to punish Pyongyang for its nuclear test and other provocative acts this year, a Washington-based media outlet said Friday.

Radio Free Asia said in a report posted on its website that Russia's central bank recently ordered other local banks and financial institutions to halt transactions with North Korea.

The central bank also said that transactions of bonds held by North Korean individuals, organizations and other groups subjected to United Nations' sanctions should be banned immediately.

In addition, Russian financial institutions should close any accounts deemed to be linked to Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs, the report said.

Russia joined other countries, including Switzerland, which recently enforced sanctions on the North, in freezing assets, financial accounts and restricting other activities that could be used in advancing the rogue state's nuclear weapons program.

North Korea conducted its fourth nuclear test in January and a long-range missile test in February, both of which drew strong condemnation from the international community.

In March, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 2270, the fifth of its kind aimed at imposing sanctions on the North.

The latest resolution is considered the toughest ever as it requires mandatory inspections of all cargo going in and out of the North and bans its exports of coal, iron and other mineral resources, a key source of hard currency that accounts for nearly half of the country's total exports.

On Thursday, South Korea's foreign ministry "welcomed" the action taken by Switzerland and vowed to keep working hard to drum up support from other countries in making sure the resolution can be faithfully carried out going forward.