S. Korea welcomes NATO condemning N.K.’ nukes

South Korea on Friday welcomed the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)'s a statement condemning North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.

The North Atlantic Council, the top decision-making body of the alliance, held a meeting on Thursday (local time) in Brussels to discuss the North's military threat.

The council "condemns in the strongest possible terms the continued development by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) of nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, and its inflammatory and threatening rhetoric," the statement said.

"It is the first time that NATO has held a separate NAC meeting dedicated only to discussion of the North Korea issue and this carries huge significance," the foreign ministry said in a press release.

"The government will continue to push for comprehensive coercive diplomacy against the North through such multilateral security bodies as NATO and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) as well as the U.N. in order to stay united and send a strong message," it added.

The meeting came after the U.N. Security Council (UNSC) adopted a new set of sanctions last month to punish the North for its fifth and strongest-ever nuclear test in September. They focus on chocking off money flow to the North to wean Pyongyang off nuclear and missile program.

The NAC welcomed the U.N. resolution, emphasizing the importance of "rigorously" implementing sanctions and being ready to act in response to the North's any further provocations.

The council has invited its partner countries including Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.

In his speech at the meeting, South Korean Vice Foreign Minister Ahn Chong-ghee called for faithful implementation of additional sanctions against the North and more unilateral steps to pressure the reclusive country to give up its nuclear ambitions. He also urged active cooperation from NATO on the matter, according to the ministry.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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