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Image © UN Photo/Manuel Elias
Following a unanimous decision of the United Nations Security Council last night, the European Union today added three new entities and one person to its list of those subject to an asset freeze and travel restrictions related to the DPRK's nuclear programme in defiance of international law.
The EU decision comes following the launch by Pyongyang of an intermediate-range ballistic missile that flew over Japan before landing in the northern Pacific Ocean. This was the second aggressive test-flight over the territory of Japan in less than a month and followed the sixth and most powerful nuclear test by the regime to date in early September.
"The DPRK must abandon its nuclear weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programmes in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner and immediately cease all related activities", affirmed EU High Representative Federica Mogherini in her immediate response to the launch, which she called an "outrageous provocation".
Mogherini firmly emphasised that the EU stands in solidarity with the people of Japan, the Republic of Korea and the wider region. The EU is coordinating closely with the Foreign Minister of Japan, Taro Kono, to address this escalating issue, she added.
The High Representative recalled once again the importance of a strict implementation of the new sanctions by all parties. Without this, they cannot be effective. She stressed that while the European Union's current restrictive measures against the DPRK are the most stringent for any country, the EU is working on additional autonomous measures.
"We will keep working, through stronger economic and diplomatic pressure, to open up a political process to achieve the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula through peaceful means", concluded Mogherini.