Leaders of the NATO member states have called on the international community to maintain “decisive pressure” on North Korea to force it to abandon its military nuclear program, including by fully implementing existing United Nations (UN) sanctions.
The leaders participating in a two-day NATO summit in Brussels signed a declaration on Wednesday calling for increased pressure on Pyongyang and reiterating the alliance’s full support for the goal of “complete verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”
NATO leaders welcomed the recent talks with North Korea by the leaders of South Korea and the United States “as a contribution towards reaching the final fully verified denuclearization of [North Korea] in a peaceful manner.”
“We call upon [North Korea] to fully implement its international obligations; to eliminate its nuclear, chemical, and biological warfare capabilities and ballistic missiles, and abandon all related programs,” the statement said, however.
Denouncing Pyongyang for violating multiple UN Security Council resolutions with its nuclear and ballistic missile tests, the leaders at the NATO summit also called on North Korea to rejoin the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and to accede to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).
During a much-publicized summit in Singapore last month, US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un signed a brief, broadly-worded document, according to which both sides committed to working toward “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was in Brussels with Trump for the NATO summit, held more than eight hours of talks in North Korea last week aimed at devising a denuclearization road map.
Though Pompeo cited progress in the talks, North Korea issued a statement saying that the Trump administration was pushing a “unilateral and gangster-like demand for denuclearization.”
No details were available from the meetings, and it was not clear what the US had specifically demanded. Formerly, Washington had called for full denuclearization “at one stage,” but it seemed to have dropped that demand later on.
Pompeo also said the sanctions on North Korea would remain in place until “a final fully verified denuclearization.”