S. Korean, Spanish foreign ministers agree to work together to press NK

S. Korean, Spanish foreign ministers agree to work together to press NK

The top diplomats of South Korea and Spain have agreed to work together to pressure North Korea into giving up its nuclear weapons program, the foreign ministry here said Thursday.

The North Korean nuke issue and its human rights violations were among the main topics of discussion when South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se and Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs Alfonso Dastis held talks in Madrid on Wednesday.

Yun arrived in Spain for a three-day visit on Wednesday, the first trip to Spain by a South Korean foreign minister in 11 years, for the purpose of bilateral talks.

During the talks, Yun asked for the Spanish government’s continued role in applying pressure on North Korea over its development of nuclear weapons and human rights violations, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The South Korean top diplomat also stressed North Korea’s recent assassination of leader Kim Jong-un’s half brother Kim Jong-nam, committed with the use of an internationally prohibited weapon of mass destruction, is a flagrant challenge to the international order, the ministry noted.

In response, the Spanish minister voiced “serious concerns” over the North’s nuclear and missile development as well as its dismal human right records.

“(Spain) will cooperate actively in order for the international community’s faithful implementation of United Nations Security Council resolutions (against the North) as well as for an early adoption of strong independent sanctions on the North by the European Union,” the ministry quoted Dastis as saying.

The two officials also welcomed the launch of their ministries’ “strategic dialogue,” and agreed to enhance Korea-Spanish collaboration in the IT and science technology sectors through regular consultations, according to the ministry.

Seoul and Madrid will work together to set up joint projects in foreign countries’ construction and infrastructure building segments, it added.

Joint efforts to combat Somali pirates and global extremist terrorism were also discussed during Wednesday’s talks.


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