European members of the UN Security Council called on Tuesday (Oct 8) for the strict enforcement of international sanctions against North Korea, after a closed-door meeting prompted by Pyongyang’s latest missile test.
“International sanctions must remain in place and be fully and strictly enforced,” they said in a statement read by French ambassador Nicolas Riviere.
Joining France in the statement was Belgium, Germany, Poland and Britain as well as Estonia, which becomes a council member in January.
In a rare encounter with journalists on Monday, North Korea’s ambassador to the United Nations, Kim Song, assailed the Europeans for doing Washington’s bidding in seeking the Security Council meeting. “The United States and its followers should bear in mind that if they raise the issue of our self-defensive measures at the UN Security Council meeting in this moment, it will further (increase) our desire to defend our sovereignty,” he said.
North Korea fired a sea-launched missile on Oct 2 in the latest – and most provocative – in a series of missile tests, just days before long-stalled US-North Korean nuclear talks were to resume in Sweden. A North Korean delegation met with the Americans in Stockholm Oct 5 but then walked out, saying the talks broke up “without any outcome.”
In their statement, the Europeans said France, Germany and Britain had asked for the Security Council meeting “because of our deep collective concern” about last week’s missile launch.
“These provocative actions … undermine regional security and stability and they are in clear violation of UN Security Council resolutions,” it said.
“We urge the DPRK to engage in good faith in meaningful negotiations with the United States,” it added, referring to North Korea by its official acronym.
Paris, Berlin and London had called for strict enforcement of UN sanctions against North Korea at the end of August, but the addition of three more European countries added weight to the demand. In 2019, Moscow and Beijing on several occasions urged that sanctions be lifted to encourage North Korea to denuclearise. When asked on Monday which sanctions North Korea would like to see lifted first, Kim said: “All the sanctions.”
North Korea is under three severe sets of sanctions imposed by the United Nations in 2017 after a sixth nuclear test and a series of missile tests, including several ICBMs believed capable of reaching the United States.