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NATO, EU align DPRK strategy

By Fu Jing in Brussels | China Daily | Updated: 2017-11-11 07:13

Both NATO and the EU have stressed their shared strategy of "increasing pressure" on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to bring it back to the negotiation table and solve the nuclear crisis in the region.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and European Commission Vice-President Federica Mogherini, in charge of the bloc's foreign affairs and security and defense policies, addressed the issue as defense ministers of the military alliance met on Wednesday and Thursday in Brussels.

In response to the "changing global security situation", the ministers have agreed to improve NATO's command structure, mainly to strengthen the collective defenses of the EU by increasing its ability to move forces and equipment quickly.

The ministers' decisions have paved the way for a NATO leaders' summit, which is scheduled to take place in Brussels next July.

The ministers will also meet in February to prepare for the July gathering amid the EU's growing resolve to increase its own defense capability by increasing the member states' military spending.

"Pressure is required to find the path for peace," said Stoltenberg, who visited the Republic of Korea last month, partly to explore ways to solve the crisis.

"We will need full and transparent implementation of UN sanctions."

Stoltenberg added that Russia and China have special roles to play as neighboring countries and as permanent members of the UN Security Council.

"So we need strong pressure on (the DPRK) to reach a peaceful, negotiated solution, and the whole alliance agrees on that strategy," he said.

Mogherini said she discussed a "common approach" aimed at preventing a major negative development in terms of nuclear proliferation with US Vice-President Mike Pence in Washington before President Donald Trump's ongoing Asian tour.

"The European Union has increased its level of economic sanctions on the DPRK," the Italian said.

"We intend this to be a push for the creation of a political space to engage in negotiations. We always believe sanctions are aimed at pushing countries to enter into diplomatic negotiations."

fujing@chinadaily.com.cn

(China Daily 11/11/2017 page9)

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