Singapore, North Korea's seventh largest trading partner, has halted its trade relations with the reclusive country, as part of global efforts to cut off funding over its nuclear and missile programs.
"Singapore will prohibit all commercially traded goods from or to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, regardless of whether they are imported, exported, transhipped or brought in transit through Singapore," Singapore Customs said in a statement on November 7.
As to non-commercial transactions with the North, the ban applies to goods that are sanctioned under the U.N. resolutions, the customs agency said, adding that the punitive steps will take effect from November 8.
Anyone who violates the prohibitions for the first time will be liable to a fine of up to S$100,000 (US$73,660) or three times the value of the goods, or to up to two years of imprisonment.
The move comes about two months after the United States imposed North Korea-related sanctions on a number of firms and individuals, including two entities based in Singapore
United Nations and U.S. are imposing sanctions that ramp up export bans and penalize companies and individuals doing business with North Korea.
The United Nations on September 11 banned North Korea's lucrative textile exports as well as all joint ventures with North Koran individuals or entities.
U.S. President Donald Trump issued an executive order 10 days later penalizing any company or person doing business with North Korea by cutting off their access to the U.S. financial system, freezing their assets or both.
Other Southeast Asian nations have similarly reduced imports from North Korea. The Philippines said in September it has suspended trade with North Korea to comply with sanctions.
Thailand's imports from North Korea dropped to $400,000 between January and August, compared with $1.8 million in the same period last year, according to data from the commerce ministry.