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Countries move fast to implement sanctions against Pyongyang

Countries move fast to implement sanctions against Pyongyang

Posted September. 09, 2017 07:21,   

Updated September. 09, 2017 07:46

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Countries worldwide including those in Latin America and Southeast Asia used to consider North Korean nuclear and missile development as "none of their business," but they are joining the move to impose sanctions against North Korea in an unprecedentedly prompt fashion. As the North advertised that it succeeded in the development of an ICBM with a maximum range of over 10,000 kilometers, growing voices are raising concern that the North’s weapons are threatening their own territories as well.

Foreign ministers of EU member countries held an unofficial ministerial meeting in the Estonian capital of Tallinn on Thursday, and agreed to impose extra sanctions against Pyongyang independently at the EU level. The agreement will likely entail sanctions that are strong enough to exceed those of the U.N. Security Council, including halt of crude oil supply to the North, restriction to employment of North Korean workers within the region, and severing of diplomatic ties with Pyongyang.

European countries were just implementing the U.N. sanctions on North Korea, but the mood is now shifting fast due to a sense of urgency in recognition that they are within the striking range of the North’s ICBM. The entire territory of Europe is within the striking range of the Hwasong-14 missile, with the French capital of Paris located at 8,735 kilometers from Pyongyang. “Europe can be included in the striking range of missiles that are under development by Kim Jong Un sooner than expected,” French Defense Minister Florence Parly said recently.

Stern responses by countries worldwide are closely related to the situation wherein even China, North Korea’s ally, is widely predicted to join the U.N. Security Council’s bid to impose additional sanctions against the North. “China sent strong signals that Beijing will support stronger UNSC sanctions,” Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post reported in its news analysis on Friday. “China will likely to support partial halt of crude oil supply.” The daily reported there is a chance that Beijing will participate not only in partial halt of crude oil supply but also in a ban on import of North Korean textile products, and prohibition of North Korean workers’ salary transfer to the North.

Amid this development, U.S. President Donald Trump stepped up his warnings of military action against Pyongyang ahead of North Korea’s founding day, which falls on Saturday. “Military action would certainly be an option,” President Trump said on Thursday. "If we do use it on North Korea, it will be a very sad day for North Korea."

The U.S. online news site News Max reported on the day President Trump already instructed the U.S. military to intercept any missiles that are flying toward the U.S. territories.



Jung-Min Dong ditto@donga.com · Min-Woo Park minwoo@donga.com