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Council Conclusions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

18 July 2017

Via the Council of the European Union

The Council adopted the following conclusions:

"1.         The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has continued to accelerate its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, with most recently the launch of a missile of intercontinental range on 4 July 2017. The Council strongly condemns these actions which constitute outright violations of the DPRK's international obligations, as set out in several UN Security Council Resolutions, and which represent a serious threat to international peace and security. 

2.           DPRK's actions undermine the global non-proliferation and disarmament regime which the EU has steadfastly supported for decades and underline the necessity of universalisation of the Comprehensive Nuclear test Ban Treaty. 

3.           The Council urges the DPRK to comply without delay, fully and unconditionally, with its obligations under all relevant UN Security Council resolutions and to refrain from any further provocative action that could increase regional and global tensions. 

4.           The EU sanctions' regime towards the DPRK is currently among the most restrictive in operation. The Council will consider further appropriate responses in close consultation with key partners and in line with UN Security Council deliberations, notably through additional autonomous restrictive measures. Recalling UNSCR 2321(2016), the Council expresses concern about the DPRK regime's activities to raise hard currency to fund its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes and calls upon States to exercise vigilance. 

5.           The Council supports the leading role and call of the Republic of Korea to the DPRK to engage in a credible and meaningful dialogue, including through confidence building measures in order to defuse tension and to enable steps aimed at pursuing the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and the full implementation of all relevant UN Security Council resolutions. The EU is ready to support such a process in consultation with key partners. 

6.           The Council is strongly convinced that a lasting peace and denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula must be achieved through peaceful means. The Council reaffirms the EU policy of Critical Engagement with the DPRK which combines pressure with sanctions and other measures while keeping communication, and dialogue channels open. The EU policy of Critical Engagement is not an end in itself but a means to promote the DPRK's full compliance with UNSC Resolutions in terms of abandoning its nuclear, WMD and ballistic missile programmes in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner and progress on all other issues of concern. The Council urges the DPRK to make credible progress on its obligations to denuclearise enabling negotiations leading to a peaceful solution. 

7.           The Council highlights the importance of unity of the international community in addressing this challenge. Closer engagement with all EU's key partners in the region and worldwide is essential in this respect, including through enhanced outreach activities and support for the full implementation of UN sanctions by all countries. 

8.           DPRK's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes divert resources from the necessary investments into social and economic development and reform which would benefit the DPRK population at large. In this context, the Council supports the Republic of Korea's aspiration to restart inter-Korean dialogue on humanitarian affairs. 

9.           The Council deplores the ongoing and grave human rights' abuses by the DPRK regime and is committed to continue working with partners to draw attention to these violations, to assure international accountability and to maintain pressure on DPRK to cease its human rights violations."