The European Union (EU) has imposed additional sanctions on North Korea in response to Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missile tests.
The decision was made on Monday in line with a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution in November last year, which limits trade with North Korea and bans imports of several metals from the country.
The EU member states said in a statement that the new measures included restrictions on trade in coal, iron and iron ore, plus a ban on imports of copper, nickel, silver and zinc from North Korea.
The 28-member bloc also imposed a ban on the sale of new helicopters and vessels to Pyongyang and introduced tighter controls on the transport, finance and property sectors.
Member states will also curb any teaching, training or scientific links that might benefit North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs, according to the statement.
The EU first imposed sanctions on Pyongyang in late 2006 over its nuclear and missile programs.
North Korea has also been under several rounds of UNSC resolutions over its nuclear and missile tests.
The November sanctions by the UNSC against North Korea were in response to Pyongyang’s fifth and biggest nuclear test two months earlier.
In its first missile test of 2017, North Korea said on February 13 that it had successfully test-fired a new type of medium- to long-range ballistic missile the previous day. The missile reportedly flew about 500 kilometers towards Japan, landing off the east coast of the Korean peninsula.
Despite the sanctions and other forms of international pressure, Pyongyang has pledged to strengthen its military capability to protect itself from the threat posed by the presence of the US forces in the region.
Pyongyang says it will not abandon its nuclear military program unless Washington ends its “hostile” policy toward North Korea and dissolves the US-led command in South Korea. Thousands of US troopers are stationed in South Korea and Japan.