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S. Korea urges cooperation from France for U.N.-led sanctions on N. Korea

All Headlines 10:56 September 10, 2016

SEOUL, Sept 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's top diplomat has asked for cooperation from France in orchestrating new sanctions led by the United Nations against North Korea's fifth and largest-ever nuclear test in defiance of continued calls from the international community to stop its nuclear program, Seoul's foreign ministry said Saturday.

South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se talked with his French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault on the phone on Friday and demanded the United Nations Security Council join a cooperative move to enact more bold, stronger sanctions in response to the latest provocation by Pyongyang, according to South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Yun expressed hopes that France, a permanent member of the U.S. Security Council, would actively engage in enacting a strong resolution against the North's nuclear threats. The South Korean minister also demanded France and the European Union make concerted efforts to impose sanctions against North Korea in close cooperation with Seoul.

The phone call was made hours after a magnitude 5 earthquake was detected at North Korea's nuclear test site in its northeastern region at around 9:30 a.m. on Friday.

The North later confirmed that it successfully conducted a nuclear detonation test, sending ripples through the international community.

The South Korean minister emphasized that Friday's nuclear test by Pyongyang is a crucial violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 2270, calling the nuclear fiasco "a grave provocation."

In addition, Yun hoped that strong South Korea-France ties will lead to a solution to handling human rights infringement issues in North Korea.

The U.N. Security Council has expressed strong condemnation of North Korea's latest nuclear test. The Council proclaimed to immediately set out preparations for putting together a new resolution of sanctions against the communist nation.

On Friday, U.S. President Barack Obama also condemned the North Korean nuclear test, restating to South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe "the unshakable U.S. commitment" to take necessary steps to defend U.S. allies, including through deployment of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery in South Korea to provide extended deterrence against the North Korean use of nuclear threats.

jwc@yna.co.kr
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