LUXEMBOURG - The European Union blacklisted the North Korean army on Monday as part of fresh sanctions aimed at punishing the pariah regime for its nuclear and ballistic weapons programmes.

Foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg signed off a new package of measures including a ban on investments in North Korea and on EU exports of oil to Pyongyang.

They also added the Korean People’s Army and Pyongyang’s armed forces ministry to the sanctions blacklist, meaning any assets they hold in the EU will be frozen.

The ministers tightened the restrictions on North Korean workers in the EU to try to stop money being sent home that could be used to fund the disputed weapons programmes.

The EU said the new steps were taken in view of the “persistent threat to international peace and stability” posed by Kim Jong-Un’s regime.

The North carried out its sixth nuclear test - and most powerful to date - on September 3, sparking international outrage.

More people and entities associated with Kim Jong-Un’s regime have been blacklisted and the ceiling for payments that can be made to North Korea has been cut from 15,000 euros to 5,000 euros.

A total ban on EU investment in North Korea is now in force, along with a complete halt to sales of crude oil and refined petroleum products.

As part of efforts to ensure sanctions are effective, EU members will instruct their embassies in countries seen as a risk of evading North Korean sanctions to deliver formal warnings to comply.

The countries in question are mainly in Asia and Africa and include Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Eritrea.