EU to hold ‘special’ session on N. Korea next week

BRUSSELS-- The European Union (EU) has said that it will convene an extraordinary session next week to discuss the escalating tension with North Korea.

EU Foreign Policy chief Federica Mogherini will chair the meeting of the Political and Security Committee (PSC) slated for Monday, to discuss a variety of issues over the North, the EU said in a statement issued on Friday.

Earlier this week, the Council of the EU broadened a sanctions list targeting North Korea in response to its latest test launches of ballistic missiles.

The list now includes 62 individuals and 50 entities subject to an asset freeze and travel restrictions in the EU.

The measure is part of the new round of sanctions adopted on Aug. 5 by the United Nations Security Council in response to North Korea's nuclear and missile activities in clear violation of previous U.N. Security Council resolutions.

The planned meeting came as tensions on the Korean Peninsula have been escalating after U.S. President Donald Trump ratcheted up tensions with North Korea on Friday, saying the military is "locked and loaded" to deal with the regime's provocations.

The warning is the latest in an exchange of bellicose rhetoric that has heightened concerns about a possible conflict between Washington and Pyongyang.

"Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely," Trump tweeted. "Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!"

The tit-for-tat war of words began this week after Pyongyang threatened to retaliate against Washington for new United Nations sanctions against the regime. The U.S. orchestrated the unanimous adoption of the resolution in response to the North's two intercontinental ballistic missile tests last month.

Trump warned North Korea on Tuesday it will be met with "fire and fury" if it continues to threaten his country. North Korea said it would fire ballistic missiles toward Guam, home to some 7,000 American military personnel.

On Thursday, Trump doubled down on his warnings, saying his "fire and fury" remark may not have been tough enough.

And a day later, he told reporters at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, that his administration is looking at military options "very carefully."

Kim will "truly regret it and he will regret it fast" if he utters an overt threat at Guam or any territory belonging to the U.S. or its allies, Trump added.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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