South Korea calls for tougher sanctions against North Korea after missile test

Moon (right) and Merkel at their joint press conference, July 5, 2017.
Moon (right) and Merkel at their joint press conference, July 5, 2017.PHOTO: EPA

BERLIN (REUTERS) – South Korean President Moon Jae-in urged major powers on Wednesday (July 5) to look into increased sanctions against North Korea after its test-launch of a newly developed intercontinental ballistic missile.

“This is a great threat and provocation,” Moon said at a joint news conference in Berlin with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who echoed his call for consideration of more sanctions.

Moon said he would use the Group of 20 (G-20) summit of the world biggest developed and developing economies in Hamburg this week to drum up support for tougher sanctions against Pyongyang.

“North Korea should stop (their missile programme) immediately...We should work on more sanctions,” he said.

But he also stressed that problems with North Korea had to be resolved through peaceful diplomacy.

Merkel said North Korea continued to violate international law by pushing ahead with its nuclear and ballistic programmes.

“We will talk about how best to react, how we can keep up the pressure, how we can further increase sanctions,” Merkel said before her talks with Moon in her chancellery.

North Korea said on Wednesday its newly developed intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) could carry a large nuclear warhead, triggering a call by Washington for global action to hold it accountable for pursuing nuclear weapons.

A spokeswoman for the US Defence Department said it had concluded that North Korea had on Tuesday test-launched an ICBM, which some experts believe has the range to reach Alaska and the Pacific Northwest of the United States.