EU Weighs New North Korea Sanctions After Missile Test

The Trump administration angered China last month by imposing sanctions on a Chinese bank accused of laundering North Korean cash and approving a $1.3 billion arms sale to Taiwan, which Beijing considers a breakaway province. The EU has no formal role in the United Nations-backed six-party talks, which are charged with ending the nuclear standoff.

The European Council, which groups the 28 EU member states, on Monday condemned the July 4 launch as an "outright violation" of UN Security Council resolutions.

"The best way is to do that is put pressure on the Chinese".

China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), a state-controlled company, halted diesel and gasoline sales to North Korea "over the last month or two", amid worldwide pressure on Pyongyang to curb its nuclear and missile programmes, Reuters exclusively reported on June 28. These included a test earlier this month of an intercontinental ballistic missile that could potentially reach parts of the U.S.

As for the USA government under President Donald Trump, the report noted that the administration places importance on security in the Asia-Pacific region.

Primary users of fuel products in North Korea include fishermen, farmers, truckers and the military. Officials have insisted, however, they would only act at South Korea's request.

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the foreign ministers are looking to "facilitate a solution that in our view can not be but a diplomatic and political one". "We absolutely disagree on that", he said. "We absolutely disagree. They got to make a serious move towards denuclearizing their country", British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said.

The council also said it opposed a military solution to the North Korea problem and kept the door open to dialogue.

The bipartisan legislation on North Korea introduced last week in Washington may be treading new territory with sanctions against at least one Chinese garment company suspected of hiring North Korean forced laborers.

But customs administration spokesman Huang Songping said Beijing was upholding the United Nations sanctions against the regime of Kim Jong-Un.

"Yes, more sanctions", Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn told reporters on Monday, adding however that that wouldn't be enough. "So much for China working with us - but we had to give it a try!"

China, North Korea's neighbor and closest ally, is responsible for 90 percent of trade with the country.

Latest News