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European sanctions on 4 individuals to fund North Korea’s weapons program

EUROPEAN UNION (OBSERVATORY) –┬áThe European Union on Thursday imposed a travel ban on four individuals and froze their assets on suspicion of “suspicious financial practices” in favor of North Korea’s weapons program.

The move came ahead of a planned summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump as world powers try to increase pressure on Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear weapons.

The European Union did not announce the names of the four but said they had raised the number of blacklisted members of the North Korean bloc to 59 and nine. The United Nations sanctions list for North Korea includes 80 individuals and 75 entities.

North Korea’s finance ministers said on Wednesday that North Korea still had access to global financial systems despite sanctions “through a network of clients and companies to camouflage and complex corporate ownership structures.”