EU condemns North Korea missile as 'outrageous provocation'

Federica Mogherini attends a meeting with EU and African leaders to discuss how to ease the European Union's migrant crisis, at the Elysee Palace in Paris, on Aug 28, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

BRUSSELS (AFP) - European Union diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini on Friday (Sept 15) condemned North Korea's ballistic missile launch over Japan as an "outrageous provocation" and vowed to step up sanctions on the rogue regime.

Pyongyang fired a missile over Japan and into the Pacific Ocean on Friday - its longest missile flight yet - in response to fresh punitive measures imposed by the UN Security Council earlier this week.

The international community hopes that economic sanctions will both deprive the north of the money it needs to pursue its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes and pressure it into negotiating.

"Today's launch by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) of another Ballistic Missile over Japan is a new outrageous provocation," Ms Mogherini said.

The EU will implement the latest UN measures against individuals and organisations on Friday, Ms Mogherini said, and press on with efforts already under way to extend the bloc's own sanction regime.

"While the European Union's current restrictive measures against the DPRK are already the most stringent it has in place for any country, we are already working on additional autonomous EU measures to complement the decisions taken by the United Nations," she said.

"Our work will be accelerated even more by this latest launch."

Friday's missile launch, which comes less than a fortnight after Pyongyang staged its sixth and most powerful nuclear test to date, prompted the UN Security Council to call an emergency meeting.

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