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South Korean President Moon Jae-in has imposed sanctions against 18 North Korean individuals.   © Reuters
International relations

Seoul blacklists 18 North Koreans ahead of Trump visit

Move believed to be a symbolic show of solidarity with the US

SEOUL -- Seoul has imposed unilateral sanctions on 18 ranking individuals of North Korean financial institutions located outside the country on Monday, the first such move under President Moon Jae-in.

The move, coming ahead of U.S. President Donald Trump's visit to South Korea, is largely seen as a symbolic show of solidarity, and is not expected to discourage Pyongyang from further missile and nuclear provocations.

Seoul already bans all trade with North Korea.

The new sanctions target individuals at offices of North Korean financial institutions in China, Russia and Libya. All are already included in the list of individuals subject to sanctions by the U.S., announced in September.

The 18 individuals are now banned from dealing with South Korean nationals or companies.

Following the 2010 sinking of its corvette, the Cheonan, South Korea imposed unilateral sanctions, including a ban on trade with the Kaesong industrial complex, a North-South economic cooperation project in southern North Korea.

After Pyongyang's nuclear test in 2016, then-South Korean President Park Geun-hye ended operations at the complex.

The two countries currently have no official economic ties.

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