Obama calls for full implementation of sanctions against North Korea

US President Barack Obama on Tuesday called for the full implementation of sanctions against North Korea after it fired three ballistic missiles towards the Sea of Japan.

Obama noted that the firing of the missiles, which occurred while leaders of the Group of 20 major economies were meeting in China, highlighted the threat posed by Pyongyang.

“These launches are provocative,” he told reporters after meeting with South Korean President Park Geun Hye on the sidelines of a South-East Asian summit in Laos.

He called on other nations to “implement sanctions fully” against Pyongyang.

Obama added that North Korea’s current behaviour made it impossible to hold talks on possible nuclear disarmament with Pyongyang, even if the "opportunities for us to dialogue with them are there.”

Park called the tests “fundamentally threatening” and stressed the need to close “loop holes in sanctions” against North Korea in response to its missile tests.

She added that she and Obama had agreed to “respond resolutely” to any provocation by using all means.

Meanwhile, the UN Security Council held a meeting in New York to discuss North Korea's latest missile launch.

Samantha Power, US ambassador to the UN, said she had "every expectation" that the council would come up with a unified response in the form of a statement and noted that many council members had voiced support for "increasing the consequences" in light of the repeated ballistic missile tests.

Koro Bessho, Japanese ambassador to the UN, noted that North Korea failed to notify Japan and other countries in the region of its intended test, which could have resulted in casualties if fishing boats had been in the area.

"We're glad that nobody was hurt, but still, it's these very acts, which really should be condemned," Bessho said.

"We hope that ... the Security Council will be able to act unanimously, united, condemning this act of utter disrespect for international law."

In August, North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile from a submarine.

Tensions have been higher on the Korean peninsula following a series of tests by North Korea at the start of the year, including an atomic test.

Last update: Tue, 06/09/2016 - 21:01

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