The Latest: EU slaps sanctions on 17 more North Koreans
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The Latest on North Korea’s participation in the Pyeongchang Olympics (all times local):
The European Union has slapped travel bans and asset freezes on 17 North Koreans accused of illegal trading activities and side-stepping sanctions imposed on Pyongyang over its nuclear program.
EU headquarters said Monday that the 17 were “identified due to their involvement in illegal trade activities and activities aimed at facilitating the evasion of sanctions imposed by the UN, including from abroad.”
Those hit are mostly high-ranking company officials, not top government members.
The move means 58 people and 10 entities such as companies and organizations are now under EU sanctions. A further 79 people and 54 entities are listed by the U.N.
The EU says it will continue to pressure North Korea over its “accelerated development of nuclear and ballistic programs in flagrant disregard of previous U.N. Security Council resolutions.”
The North Korean figure skating pair that will compete in the Winter Olympics is in Taiwan this week for a competition.
Ryom Tae Ok and Kim Ju Sik were seen leaving Taipei Arena after a practice session Monday. They did not talk to reporters.
The North Korean skaters won the bronze in pairs at the 2017 Asian Winter Games in Japan.
The duo is set to compete in the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships that starts Wednesday.
On arrival in Taipei on Sunday, Ryom told reporters: “I will not say anything before the competition. I will make a comment after the competition ends.”
She and Kim are among 22 North Korean athletes invited to compete at the Winter Olympics in South Korea next month.
Dozens of conservative activists have attempted to burn a large photo of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as the head of the North’s hugely popular girl band passed by them at a Seoul railway station.
About 150 to 200 activists used a blowtorch to burn Kim’s photo and a North Korean flag before police used fire extinguishers to put out the fire Monday. Some lower parts of the photo burned.
The activists were rallying as the North’s delegation led by Hyon Song Wol, the head of the Moranbong Band, arrived back at the Seoul railway station after a visit to an eastern city to look at potential venues for performances during next month’s Olympics.
Hyon’s arrival triggered media frenzy in South Korea, with TV cameras following her every move.