Keep pressure up on North Korea, Boris Johnson tells summit

Pressure on North Korea must be kept up despite the tentative truce with Seoul, Boris Johnson has insisted.

Harsh economic sanctions agreed in a United Nations resolution in December must be strictly enforced by the international community, the Foreign Secretary said.

Tensions between North and South Korea appeared to thaw a little after Pyongyang agreed to take part in talks in the demilitarised zone of the peninsula.

Boris Johnson has called for tough sanctions against North Korea to be maintained
Boris Johnson has called for tough sanctions against North Korea to be maintained

Kim Jong-un has agreed to send a delegation to the Winter Olympic Games being staged in South Korea in February.

But international leaders fear the move is a strategy to drive a wedge between Seoul and the rest of the UN.

At a two-day summit in Vancouver, Canada, Mr Johnson said that while it was "great" there is an Olympic truce, there should be no doubt the missile-testing crisis is intensifying.

He said: "There can be no doubt that the crisis is intensifying, we had 20 tests within the last year, 20 missiles, two of which flew over Japan, and one testing of a nuclear device.

"It's very important and encouraging that the world is not being intimidated or divided by the threat from North Korea, and actually we have come together, and in Resolution 2397 there was an unprecedented measure of global consensus about what to do and to intensify the political and economic pressure on the regime.

"It's great that conversations are taking place between North Korea and South Korea and great there is an Olympic truce, but I hope people will recognise that the programme is continuing in North Korea and that Kim Jong-un continues with his illegal programme.

"He can continue on the path of provocation and equipping his country with nuclear weapons that will lead to further escalation, further economic pain and hardship of his people or else he has an opportunity to go down a path that will lead to greater well-being for his people and a chance to emulate the astonishing achievements of the Republic of Korea (South Korea)."

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