South Korea's Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini reached the consensus that the U.N. Security Council and the European Union should impose strong and effective sanctions on North Korea, an official said Saturday.
Mogherini said the EU will join the international community's efforts to put pressure on North Korea and that it will consider tightening its own sanctions on the communist country, according to the South Korean official.
Yun was in Germany for the Munich Security Conference. He also held back-to-back meetings with his counterparts from the U.S., China, Russia and Britain on the margins of the annual security conference.
The four countries are crucial in adopting a resolution for sanctions as they are permanent veto-wielding members of the Security Council along with France.
The meetings came as the Security Council has been working on a resolution to slap sanctions on North Korea over its recent nuclear test and long-range rocket launch.
North Korea claimed the rocket was meant to put a satellite into orbit as part of its space development program. Still, South Korea, the United States and other regional powers view the North's satellite launch as a cover for testing its ballistic missile technology, which is banned under U.N. resolutions.
South Korea has shuttered a factory park it had jointly run with North Korea in the North's border city of Kaesong following the North's rocket launch.
The move is designed to cut off a major legitimate revenue source for North Korea and illustrated South Korea is serious about pushing for harsh international sanctions against North Korea.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has described South Korea's decisions as a brave and critical move.
More than 120 South Korean firms annually had provided about US$100 million in total to North Korea for the income of more than 54,300 North Koreans workers.
Still, Mogherini did not express her clear-cut support for South Korea's shutdown of the last-remaining economic cooperation with North Korea, saying she fully understands the decision.
Yun also met with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier and they also shared the need of imposing strong sanctions on North Korea.
Steinmeier also said Germany is considering taking its own punitive measures against North Korea. Yun also held a similar meeting with his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry.
Source: Yonhap news