EU ‘talks tough’ on North Korea’s nu­clear weapons

The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and The Mearns Edition) - - News -

North Korea must make “se­ri­ous moves” to­wards giv­ing up its nu­clear weapons pro­gramme be­fore talks can take place with Kim Jong-un’s regime, Boris John­son has said.

The for­eign sec­re­tary and Euro­pean Union coun­ter­parts agreed a state­ment strongly con­demn­ing Py­ongyang’s nu­clear and bal­lis­tic mis­sile test­ing pro­gramme as a “se­ri­ous threat to in­ter­na­tional peace and se­cu­rity”.

Mr John­son hinted at splits within the EU over how to deal with the North Korean regime, with some coun­tries keen to en­gage with Py­ongyang be­fore mean­ing­ful steps are taken to end its weapons pro­grammes.

At the con­clu­sion of a meet­ing in Brus­sels, Mr John­son said the EU’s For­eign Af­fairs Coun­cil had agreed “some tough words” on North Korea.

He said: “There are some peo­ple who think we should en­gage early with Py­ongyang. We ab­so­lutely dis­agree with that.

“They have got to make se­ri­ous moves to­wards de­nu­cle­aris­ing their coun­try be­fore it is right for us to be­gin a proper di­a­logue, and I’m glad the coun­cil con­clu­sions re­flected that.”

The coun­cil’s state­ment reaf­firmed the EU’s pol­icy of “crit­i­cal en­gage­ment” with Py­ongyang, us­ing sanc­tions and other mea­sures while “keep­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion and di­a­logue chan­nels open”.

That process was a way to push for North Korea’s com­pli­ance with United Na­tions res­o­lu­tions “in terms of aban­don­ing its nu­clear, WMD (weapons of mass de­struc­tion) and bal­lis­tic mis­sile pro­grammes in a com­plete, ver­i­fi­able and ir­re­versible man­ner and progress on all other is­sues of con­cern”.

For­eign sec­re­tary Boris John­son and Bul­gar­ian for­eign min­is­ter Eka­te­rina Za­harieva at the meet­ing of the EU For­eign Af­fairs Coun­cil in Brus­sels.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.