by Staff Writers
Strasbourg, France (AFP) Sept 12, 2017
The European Union will enforce new UN sanctions over North Korea's nuclear programme while pressing ahead with work on fresh measures of its own, the bloc's diplomatic chief said Tuesday.
The UN Security Council on Monday unanimously backed new sanctions against Kim Jong-Un's regime, including restrictions on shipments of oil products, drawing an angry response from Pyongyang.
The move came amid international outrage over the pariah state's sixth nuclear test -- its most powerful to date -- earlier this month and its intercontinental ballistic missile launch in July.
EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini told the European Parliament meeting in Strasbourg, France, that ramping up pressure through tighter, better enforced sanctions, was key to forcing the North to negotiate an end to the crisis.
"We now will implement new UN sanctions as we have always done before," Mogherini said. "Second, we will work to make sure all our international partners do the same to ensure the maximum level of efficiency for the economic measures.
"Third, we will continue the discussion we launched last week on additional EU sanctions to complement action decided by the Security Council and put maximum pressure on North Korea."
After a meeting of the 28 EU foreign ministers in Tallinn last week, Mogherini said work would begin on new measures against the North to add to the broad range of sanctions the bloc already has in place.
A number of EU countries including Britain are calling for the expulsion of North Korean workers posted in Europe, saying the revenue they generate is used to fund the nuclear programme.
Mogherini said the EU was focused on achieving a Korean peninsula free of nuclear weapons, through diplomatic means.
"A military attack would be useless and harmful as it could easily spiral into a large-scale conflict. The consequences would be totally unpredictable and certainly dramatic for the people of the Korean peninsula, the region and most likely the world," she told MEPs.
North Korea slams 'vicious' US-led UN sanctions
"Yesterday the Washington regime fabricated the most vicious sanctions resolution," Pyongyang's ambassador in Geneva told the UN Conference on Disarmament in the first North Korean reaction to Monday's unanimous vote.
"My delegation condemns in the strongest terms and categorically rejects the latest illegal ... UN Security Council resolution," ambassador Han Tae Song told the gathering.
"The forthcoming measures by DPRK (the Democratic Republic of Korea) will make the US suffer the greatest pain it has ever experienced in its history," he said.
The move by the Security Council slaps a ban on textile exports and restricts shipments of oil products to punish Pyongyang for its sixth and largest nuclear test.
The US-drafted sanctions resolution passed just one month after the Security Council decided to ban exports of coal, lead and seafood in response to North Korea's launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
The sanctions follow a series of North Korean missile tests in recent months, culminating in an intercontinental ballistic missile that appeared to bring much of the US mainland into range.
It followed up with a sixth nuclear test on September 3, its largest to date, which North Korea said was a hydrogen bomb small enough to fit onto a missile.
The United States and its allies argue that tougher sanctions will pile pressure on Kim's regime to come to the negotiation table to discuss an end to its nuclear and missile tests.
"My hope is that the regime will hear the message loud and clear and it will choose a different path," US ambassador Robert Wood told the Conference on Disarmament.
Pyongyang meanwhile appeared to draw a different lesson from the Security Council vote.
"Instead of making (the) right choice with rational analysis, ... the Washington regime (has opted) for political, economic, and military confrontation," Han said.
He accused the United States of being "obsessed with the wild game of reversing the DPRK's development of nuclear force, which has already reached the completion phase."
United Nations, United States (AFP) Sept 12, 2017
North Korea Tuesday condemned "vicious" new UN sanctions imposed over its sixth and largest nuclear test, warning it would make the US "suffer the greatest pain" it has ever experienced. The new sanctions imposed unanimously by the UN Security Council Monday ban North Korean textile exports and restrict shipments of oil products. The resolution, passed after Washington toned down its ori ... read more
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