Russia signs decree, bans trade with North Korea

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Russia signs decree, bans trade with North Korea

The Russian government formalized a new decree banning trade with North Korea and prohibiting businesses and organizations from providing financial transactions to the regime related to its nuclear weapons and missile program, China’s Xinhua News Agency reported yesterday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the decree on Monday, Xinhua said in its English-language dispatch, in compliance with the newly adopted United Nations Security Council Resolution 2094.

The sanctions will also bar Russian citizens, organizations and companies from importing any products from North Korea, according to Xinhua.

Additionally, Moscow will also inspect all cargo originating from the reclusive state and ban North Korean planes suspected of containing illicit weapons from departing, landing or transferring at any airport in Russia, the news agency reported.

Under the decree, North Korean banks blacklisted by the Russian government are prohibited from opening branches in Russia or running joint ventures with Russian banks, Xinhua said.

The latest UN Security Council sanctions were passed in March this year in the aftermath of North Korea’s third nuclear weapons test in February, a violation of previous sanctions that prohibited the regime from testing or developing any technology related to missile defense or nuclear weapons.

China, the North’s closest ally, which agreed to the resolution’s passage in March, has also ratcheted up sanctions against the regime.

In October, Beijing published a list of 900 items banned for export to North Korea that relate to nuclear weapons, intercontinental ballistic missiles and other weapons of mass destruction.

But despite more sanctions, North Korea’s two allies are still urging Pyongyang to return to the so-called six-party talks - a multilateral discussion involving the two Koreas, Russia, China, Japan and the United States aimed at denuclearizing North Korea - without any conditions.

Meanwhile, South Korea and the United States are pressuring Pyongyang to show “concrete actions” for nuclear disarmament as a precondition for holding such talks.

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