UPDATE : 2018.10.17 WED 10:22
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S. Korea, France agree on strong sanctions against N. Korea

The foreign ministers of South Korea and France held talks Monday during which they agreed on strong sanctions that would lead North Korea to talks on denuclearization.

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and her French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian also agreed that North Korea's nuclear and missile programs are one of the top threats for the global community.

Kang said at a press conference that North Korea's repeated provocations and advances in its nuclear capability are the "most urgent and significant threat" to security around the world.

Kang said strong sanctions and pressure are needed for North Korea to come to the negotiating table.

The French foreign minister also took note of U.N. Security Council resolutions in resolving North Korea's nuclear standoff.

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha (L) speaks during a joint press briefing in Paris after having talks with her French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian on Oct. 23, 2017. (Yonhap)

The two reiterated their shared view that all possible options available, including sanctions, pressure and even talks, should be employed to resolve the North's nuclear issue, emphasizing that they should pursue peaceful solutions, according to the ministry in Seoul.

They had a consensus that what is more important than anything else is to stably manage security situations on the Korean Peninsula in a way that tensions do not mount further, the ministry added. They also called on the North to stop provocations and come out to the negotiating table on its denuclearization.

"In addition, they agreed to hold their third strategic dialogue at a mutually convenient time next year in Seoul and maintain close communication going forward as well," the ministry said.

North Korea conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test Sept. 3 after successfully test-launching two intercontinental ballistic missiles.

In recent months, tensions on the Korean Peninsula have also escalated, and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and President Trump have exchanged harsh rhetoric over the North's nuclear and missile programs.

Hwi Won  edt@koreapost.com

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