North Korea 'will be punished', says France

The Security Council unanimously backed a US-drafted statement that demanded North Korea "refrain from further actions, including nuclear tests," which are in violation of UN resolutions.

Paris: French President Francois Hollande promised Friday to enforce tough sanctions on North Korea, which faced UN condemnation this week for its latest attempted missile launch.

"We will ensure that in the Security Council, of which France is a permanent member, North Korea will be punished because we will not accept even the slightest threat to the safety and peace of the region," Hollande said in Paris after talks with South Korean President Park Geun-Hye.

Hollande called the North Korean nuclear and ballistic missile programmes a "threat".

On Wednesday, the Security Council unanimously backed a US-drafted statement that demanded North Korea "refrain from further actions, including nuclear tests," which are in violation of UN resolutions.

Council members "strongly condemned" a series of failed missile launches on Tuesday and on April 27 and 28, which are in "grave violation" of North Korea`s international obligations, said the text.

Park said she has asked for France`s support in a continued tough stance on North Korea`s missile and nuclear programmes.

"North Korea must understand that there are no other alternatives than renouncing its nuclear programme," she said.

The Council has adopted the toughest sanctions to date on North Korea after it carried out its fourth nuclear test in January and a rocket launch that was widely seen as a disguised ballistic missile test.

Among the sweeping measures is a new requirement that all countries must inspect cargo destined for and coming from North Korea, in all airports and sea ports.

The resolution bans or restricts exports of coal, iron, iron ore and other minerals from North Korea, and prohibits the supply of aviation fuel including rocket fuel.

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