MEPs back the tougher sanctions imposed on North Korea by EU governments and the UN Security Council following the February nuclear test, in a resolution passed on Thursday. They call on North Korea to restore its commitment to a moratorium on missile launches, pointing out that the pursuit of illegal nuclear and ballistic programmes risks aggravating regional tensions.
North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic programmes do not serve its claimed objective of improving its security and must be fully abandoned, MEPs say. North Korea should refrain from further provocative actions and threats and rejoin the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
MEPs call on China to step up its influence, as the main trading ally of North Korea, to make sure that the situation does not escalate further. The North Korean nuclear issue must be solved diplomatically and politically, they add, and call for the Six-Party talks between North Korea, South Korea, China, Russia, Japan and the US to resume and work on a nuclear-free Korean peninsula.
Look at human rights
MEPs are deeply concerned at the deteriorating human rights situation in the country, possibly amounting to “crimes against humanity”, in the words of the UN’s Special Rapporteurs for North Korea. They hail the establishment of a UN Commission of Inquiry on the DPRK to look into human rights violations there.
North Korea must declare a moratorium on all executions, which its citizens, including children, are often forced to witness in public, say MEPs. Extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances must also stop and political prisoners be released, they add.
Alleviate the food shortage
The Commission must maintain existing humanitarian aid programmes and channels of communication with North Korea to cope with the severe food situation in the country. North Korean authorities must ensure access for all citizens to food and humanitarian assistance, MEPs stress.