EU to send North Korean workers home by 2020

SEOUL, Feb. 27 (UPI) — European governments are set to send home North Korean guest workers by January 2020, in line with U.N. sanctions.

The European Union this week finalized transposing the U.N. Security Council’s Resolution 2397 into EU law.

The latest round of sanctions was passed by the United Nations in December last year, after North Korea test-fired its new Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile.

The measures include limiting the pariah state’s refined petroleum imports from 2 million to 500,000 barrels a year, banning imports of North Korean agriproducts, machinery, electronics, ships and more.

As a means of cutting off Pyongyang’s cash flow, the resolution also includes repatriating North Koreans working abroad within 24 months.

The EU’s economic sanctions are unlikely to take a sizeable toll on the North, as the 28-member regional bloc has already reduced its trade with the regime from 280 million euros in 2006 to 27 million in 2016, Yonhap reported.

However, sending back North Korean laborers from countries like Poland, where hundreds are working in shipyards and factories to earn foreign currency for the regime, is likely to cause an impact.

The EU has strongly advocated strict sanctions and pressure on Pyongyang to curb its nuclear and missile development.

It has, so far, imposed autonomous sanctions on 55 North Korean individuals and nine organizations, in addition to U.N. sanctions on 79 individuals and 54 groups.

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