Merkel, Macron call for new EU sanctions on N. Korea

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Berlin, Sep 3 (IANS) German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday issued a joint statement condemning North Korea’s latest nuclear test and called for imposition of harsher sanctions against Pyongyang by the European Union.

Merkel and Macron agreed that North Korea was “trampling” on international law and that the global community needed to react “decisively and cohesively” to counter this latest escalation, Efe news reported.

“The most recent provocation from the strongman in Pyongyang has reached a new dimension. In addition to the UN Security Council, the EU also has to act now. The Chancellor and the President expressed their support for a tightening of EU sanctions against North Korea,” read the joint statement.

Meanwhile, Germany’s Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said that news of the nuclear missile test — reportedly involving a hydrogen bomb that could be fitted on an intercontinental ballistic missile — was “deeply worrying”.

“Were the indications confirmed, it would be a renewed blatant violation of international law and of existing UN Security Council resolutions,” Gabriel added.

He also accused North Korea of deliberately inflaming the already heated tensions on the Korean Peninsula. “The regime again shows us that it represents a serious threat to world peace.”

Seismological agencies in South Korea, Japan and China, as well as the US Geological Survey and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation, registered a tremor with a magnitude of 6.3 at a site previously used by North Korea for nuclear tests.

The incident occurred on the same day that North Korean state media released an image of leader Kim Jong-un purportedly inspecting the installation of a hydrogen bomb.

–IANS

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