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21 October, 2017 12:25:33 AM
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EU to consider further measures against North Korea

S Korea to push ahead with nuclear power plants
AFP
EU to consider further measures against North Korea

BRUSSELS: The EU is to consider stepping up measures aimed at punishing North Korea for its nuclear and ballistic weapons programmes, in a summit agreement approved by leaders on Thursday, reports AFP.

The bloc blacklisted the North Korean army on Monday as part of a new round of sanctions that European powers hope will help force Kim Jong-Un’s regime to the bargaining table.

New measures also included a complete ban on investment in the North and a total embargo on oil and petrol products

New measures approved by EU foreign ministers also included a complete ban on investment in the North, which carried out its sixth and most powerful nuclear test last month, and a total embargo on oil and petrol products.

EU heads of state and government meeting in Brussels on Thursday and Friday will give their backing to the new measures, which go beyond sanctions imposed by the UN, and warn Pyongyang that more could be on the way.

“The recent behaviour of the DPRK is unacceptable and poses a significant threat to the Korean peninsula and beyond,” the leaders said in written conclusions to the summit.

“The European Council will consider further responses in close consultation with partners and the EU will continue to reach out to third countries urging the full implementation of UN sanctions.”

The EU has more sanctions in force against North Korea than against any other country, and given the limited trade between them there is little scope to expand measures much further.

Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser, whose country holds the bloc’s rotating presidency, said last month that “there is only so far we can go further before hitting absolute zero.”

EU leaders will also reiterate their demand for Pyongyang to “fully and unconditionally” abandon its nuclear and ballistic weapons programmes.

Tensions have soared in recent weeks following Pyongyang’s latest nuclear test as US President Donald Trump engages in an escalating war of words with Kim.

The North’s missile and nuclear capabilities have made significant progress under Kim, who told party officials this month that the country’s atomic weapons were a “treasured sword” to protect it from aggression.

Another report from AFP adds: South Korea yesterday decided to push ahead with the construction of two new nuclear reactors after months of heated debate over whether the country should start weaning itself off atomic energy.

A state commission, based on a survey of 471 jurors selected across the country, recommended finishing construction of the Shin Kori-5 and Shin Kori-6 reactors near the southeastern city of Ulsan.

“We recommend the resumption of the two reactors”, commission chairman Kim Ji-Hyung said in a press statement.

Construction was suspended in July with 30 percent complete amid controversy whether the country should shift away from nuclear power because of safety concerns.

The government has already said it would accept whatever the jury recommended regarding the fate of the two reactors.

Scrapping the project was one of President Moon Jae-In’s campaign promises.

After taking office in May, however, he took a backstep in the face of strong protests and decided to determine the reactors’ fate according to public opinion.

He ordered the establishment of the independent state commission charged with collecting public views and making a recommendation.

About 1.6 trillion won ($1.4 billion) has already been spent on the reactors.

South Korea relies on nuclear power for about 30 percent of its energy needs.

EA

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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