EU Considers More North Korean Sanctions After U.N. Vote

Following the approval of harsh new sanctions by the U.N. Security Council, the European Union is considering taking additional measures against North Korea in a demonstration of solidarity with South Korea and Japan, two of its major trading partners.  According to one EU diplomat involved in the discussion of further measures, the European Union is "...supporting [its] allies Japan and South Korea, who are directly threatened by North Korea's aggression".  However, it is worth noting that trade between the European Union and North Korea has already fallen to just 34 million euros as of 2014 from more than 300 million euros a decade ago.  EU countries are also already restricted from exporting arms or metals to North Korea and from selling North Korea gold, diamonds, and luxury goods.  Therefore, given that the United States says the new United Nations sanctions go further than any other U.N. sanctions regime in two decades, the EU's measures also leave little room to go further.  Lastly, the fact that Germany, Sweden, and others are not willing to cut diplomatic ties with North Korea means that the EU's leverage over the isolated Communist state is limited.
-Margaux Glovier