NATO head Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday all countries must comply with sanctions on North Korea as the international community ratchets up pressure on the reclusive regime following its largest nuclear test to date.
Asked if he was worried that Russia was resisting stepping up U.N. Security Council sanctions on North Korea, Stoltenberg told reporters before meeting the European Union’s defensc ministers:
“There are already sanctions agreed in the UN and it is extremely important that those sanctions are fully implemented.”
At the same time, all 29 member countries’ ambassadors to NATO issued the statement as world powers sought a common response to North Korea’s sixth and largest nuclear bomb test, amid fears that more were on their way.
“It is now imperative that all nations implement more thoroughly and transparently existing UN sanctions and make further efforts to apply decisive pressure to convince the DPRK regime to abandon its current threatening and destabilizing path,” the statement read, referring to North Korea’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
Efforts to impose fresh sanctions on Pyongyang at the United Nations have run into opposition.
Russian president Vladimir Putin has resisted restrictions on oil exports to the country, saying the crisis will not be resolved by sanctions.
NATO is not directly involved in the nuclear crisis, but it has repeatedly called on North Korea to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said separately he planned to travel to South Korea and Japan in October