BRUSSELS – The European Union views the new sanctions imposed on North Korea by the United Nations Security Council as proof of the international community’s unity in countering the threat posed by the Asian nation’s nuclear and ballistic weapons programs, a spokesperson for the bloc’s diplomatic service said on Saturday.
In a statement, Maja Kocijancic – the EU’s spokesperson for foreign affairs and security policy, European neighborhood policy and enlargement negotiations – underscored the importance of the UNSC’s restrictive measures to send a message to the North Korean authorities.
The decision “is further proof of the unity of the international community in addressing North Korea’s nuclear, weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs, which represent a serious threat to international peace and security,” read the statement.
It added that the EU continued to consider further autonomous measures to increase the pressure on North Korea to comply with its obligations under international law and was likely to adopt them in early 2018.
“The EU will, of course, ensure the full transposition into EU law of this new UNSC Resolution as quickly as possible,” the statement said. “A number of the measures are already contained in existing EU autonomous sanctions.”
Brussels stressed that the sanctions would send “another strong message to the North Korean authorities that the only viable solution remains through its re-engagement in a credible and meaningful dialogue with the international community.”
The EU urged Pyongyang to comply without delay, fully and unconditionally, with its obligations under all relevant UNSC resolutions and to refrain from any further provocative action that could increase regional and global tension.
The UNSC on Friday had unanimously approved the toughening of sanctions against North Korea, limiting the country’s access to petroleum products, vetoing its exports in several sectors and forcing the return of citizens working abroad.
The measures came in response to North Korea launching a long-range ballistic missile in late November as part of its weapons program testing.