HANOI, Vietnam, July 20 (UPI) — Vietnam banned the entry of 12 North Korean nationals under United Nations Security Council sanctions, increasing the total number of North Koreans facing travel restrictions to 28.
The Southeast Asian nation is a traditional ally of Pyongyang, but it is stepping up restrictions in order to fully implement sanctions Resolution 2270, Yonhap reported.
Vietnam had submitted an implementations report in late June that stated all individuals on the sanctions list are to face restricted travel, according to an unidentified diplomat who spoke to Yonhap.
In April and May Vietnam had already placed travel bans on 16 sanctioned individuals.
Choe Sung Il, a deputy representative of Tanchon Commercial Bank, was reportedly in charge of North Korean arms sales in Southeast Asia.
He was deported from Vietnam in late April.
Choe was added to the U.N. sanctions list in March, which allows U.N. member countries to expel him or bar him from entry.
Vietnam also banned 12 other North Koreans who were placed under sanctions after the 2009 and 2013 nuclear tests, according South Korea media. On July 4, a northern branch of Vietnam Airlines began banning sales to sanctioned North Koreans.
North Korean officials banned from Vietnam include Paek Chang Ho, the head of a North Korean satellite control center, as well as Yon Jong Nam and Ko Chol Jae of Korea Mining Development Trading Company, or KOMID.
In May the White House had stated the United States and Vietnam are “working together to prevent North Korea’s proliferation activities and to fully implement [United Nations Security Council Resolution] 2270.”