EU slaps new sanctions on North Korea in response to its missile program and support for Russia

FILE - European flags fly outside the European Parliament on Feb. 7, 2024 in Strasbourg, eastern France. Some 400 million EU citizens go to the polls this weekend to elect the members of the European Parliament in one of the biggest global democratic events. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias, File)

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union has slapped more sanctions on North Korea over its continued efforts to develop ballistic and nuclear missiles and its support for Russia.

The EU Council said Friday that nine additional individuals and entities will be hit by asset freezes and travel bans. No names were provided.

The move brings the number of North Koreans hit by EU sanctions to 77 and the number of entities, which are often companies or organizations, to 20.

The EU started imposing restrictive measures on North Korea in 2006 in line with U.N. sanctions over its nuclear and missile tests.

“The Council today sanctioned a further six individuals and three entities in view of sanctions evasion activities carried out by (North Korea) that could generate funds for its illegal nuclear and ballistic missile programs, in violation of and with flagrant disregard for the relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions, and in view of the military support given by (North Korea) to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine,” the EU said.

It said North Korea has launched at least 22 missiles this year.

“The EU has repeatedly condemned (North Korea) for such activities, and called on Pyongyang to cease these illegal and dangerous launches, which blatantly violate U.N. Security Council resolutions and undermine international peace and security as well as the global non-proliferation regime,” it said.

The EU, U.S., South Korea and others have accused North Korea of supplying artillery, missiles and other conventional weapons to Russia for its war in Ukraine in return for advanced military technologies and economic aid. Both North Korea and Russia have repeatedly dismissed the allegation.