Strong pressure and sanctions on North Korea allow for cautious optimism
Ahead of two key events: the inter-Korean summit later this month and a North Korean-US summit in May, the European Parliament debated tonight the efforts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.
Victor Boștinaru, S&D vice-president responsible for foreign affairs said:
“This is a crucial moment that allows us to be cautiously optimistic. The Winter Olympics earlier this year in the South Korea have contributed to softening the tensions. But there is no doubt that we have to be thankful to the international community for being united in condemning North Korea’s ballistic missiles and nuclear programme and exercising a strong pressure. The EU played an important role here. We imposed sanctions that went even beyond the ones adopted by the UN Security Council.
“The visit of Kim Jong-un to Beijing, and the upcoming summits between the two Koreas and between the North Korean leader and the US president are very encouraging steps towards a negotiated solution of the crisis.
“We already achieved an important result which is a stop in the tests on ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons. But the EU and the international community must not lift any sanctions until the moment we have an agreement on the table for the full, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.”