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(LEAD) Seoul's top diplomat vows efforts to lead global pressure on N. Korea

2016/05/20 15:43

(ATTN: ADDS comments by Seoul's unification minister in last 3 paras)

SEOUL, May 20 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will lead the international community in putting pressure on North Korea to give up its nuclear ambitions, the country's top diplomat said Friday.

"A perception has taken hold in the international community that sanctions and pressure of a different kind compared to the past should be applied to get the North to change and seek denuclearization," Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se said in a speech at a forum.

"In the last couple of days, Switzerland the European Union took their own sanction measures. Our government will keep leading the international community's pressure on the North from all possible directions going forward," he added.

Yun emphasized that the latest resolution adopted by the United Nations Security Council is a reflection of the strong commitment of the international community to the North's denuclearization following its fourth nuclear test and recent long-range missile launch.

He said that the global commitment to get the North to surrender its nuclear weapons has become stronger after Pyongyang made clear that it will push for nuclear and economic development at the same time as its permanent policy line during the recently-concluded congress of its ruling Workers' Party of Korea.

South Korea's point man on unification said that the current situation on the Korean Peninsula is "very grave," stressing that the international community needs to put persistent pressure on the North.

"There should be fundamental ways in dealing with the North so that we can prod North Korea into changing its course," Unification Minister Hong Yong-pyo said in his speech at the forum.

He said that North Korea should realize that denuclearization is the only way for it to become a responsible member of the international community.