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(LEAD) FM lashes out at N. Korea for past provocations

All Headlines 00:13 March 03, 2016

(ATTN: ADDS Yun's remarks at human rights council in paras 9-10)

GENEVA/SEOUL, March 2 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se on Wednesday lashed out at North Korea for having conducted a series of nuclear and missile tests over the last decade, calling the communist regime a "serial offender."

Speaking at the Conference on Disarmament (CD) in Geneva, Switzerland, Yun said that it is "no wonder" that the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) would soon adopt a resolution with the "strongest-ever" non-military sanctions in seven decades of the U.N.'s history for the North's recent provocations.

"This (the upcoming adoption of the resolution) is a clear manifestation of the resolve of the international community to punish North Korea's provocations once and for all," the top diplomat said during his keynote speech.

His remarks came as the UNSC was widely expected to adopt a fresh resolution of sanctions for Pyongyang's Jan. 6 fusion bomb test and Feb. 7 long-range rocket launch. The North conducted both tests in breach of UNSC resolutions banning nuclear and missile experiments.

Since 2006, the UNSC has adopted a total of four resolutions for three underground nuclear tests in 2006, 2009 and 2013 and a long-range rocket test in 2012.

Touching on the North's persistent provocations and violations of international norms and rules, Yun pointed out that some U.N. member states have raised the issue of the North's qualifications as a "peace-loving" U.N. member.

Portraying the North's nuclear program as a "direct challenge" to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, a major achievement of the CD, Yun called for putting the North Korean issue atop the agenda for the ministerial-level meeting of the CTBT slated for June.

He also stressed that the new UNSC resolution, if adopted, should be implemented "without delay, without exception and without condition" so that the international community can achieve the North's complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization.

In a separate speech at a high-level session of the U.N. Human Rights Council, Yun upbraided the North for its woeful human rights situation. He called the North a human rights "black hole," urging it to stop all abuses.

Underscoring the "cruel nature" of the isolated regime, Yun said that many North Koreans are risking their lives in search of "freedom and human dignity." He also accused Pyongyang of diverting scarce economic resources for the development of weapons of mass destruction and other military purposes.

Yun arrived in Geneva on Tuesday for a three-day visit.

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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