Govt welcomes stronger sanctions on North Korea

Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee. File photo.

Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee has welcomed a United Nations Security Council Resolution strengthening sanctions on North Korea.

Resolution 2371 was passed unanimously following North Korea’s testing of intercontinental ballistic missiles on July 4 and 28.

All North Korean ballistic missile tests are banned under existing Security Council resolutions.

“I have previously strongly condemned North Korea’s illegal and dangerous missile tests, which are a threat to regional stability,” says Gerry.

Speaking from Manila, where he is participating in the East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, the minister confirmed New Zealand’s strong support for the new sanctions.

"The unanimous action at the Security Council reflects the international community’s grave concern with the ongoing tensions which arise from North Korea’s violations of UNSC resolutions, and the importance of reducing tensions and engaging in dialogue on appropriate terms.

“It is a strong signal to North Korea to change course.

“New Zealand will promptly take steps to implement the resolution.”

Gerry says attempts to show North Korea there were alternatives to its current actions, including assurances which have been recently given to North Korea that countries are not seeking regime change, the collapse of the regime, or accelerated reunification of the Korean Peninsula.

“New Zealand joins the international community in calling on North Korea to see in these statements an alternative path.

"North Korea should comply with Security Council resolutions and take deliberate actions to demonstrate it is prepared to change course accordingly. This would defuse tensions and provide North Korea a path to dialogue."

The new Resolution strengthens existing sanctions against North Korea, and specifically targets North Korea’s principal exports including coal, iron, iron ore, seafood, lead and lead ore.

It adds new sanctions designations against North Korean individuals and entities, and bans countries from allowing in additional numbers of North Korean labourers.

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