July 5, 2017 / 6:21 PM / 2 years ago

South Korea calls for tougher sanctions against North Korea after missile test

South Korean President Moon Jae-in attends a news conference in Berlin, Germany July 5, 2017. REUTERS/Michele Tantussi

BERLIN (Reuters) - South Korean President Moon Jae-in urged major powers on Thursday to look into increased sanctions against North Korea after its test-launch of a newly developed intercontinental ballistic missile.

“This is a great threat and provocation,” Moon said at a joint news conference in Berlin with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who echoed his call for consideration of more sanctions.

Moon said he would use the G20 summit of the world biggest developed and developing economies in Hamburg this week to drum up support for tougher sanctions against Pyongyang.

“North Korea should stop (their missile program) immediately...We should work on more sanctions,” he said.

But he also stressed that problems with North Korea had to be resolved through peaceful diplomacy.

Merkel said North Korea continued to violate international law by pushing ahead with its nuclear and ballistic programs.

“We will talk about how best to react, how we can keep up the pressure, how we can further increase sanctions,” Merkel said before her talks with Moon in her chancellery.

North Korea said on Wednesday its newly developed intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) could carry a large nuclear warhead, triggering a call by Washington for global action to hold it accountable for pursuing nuclear weapons.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Defense Department said it had concluded that North Korea had on Tuesday test-launched an ICBM, which some experts believe has the range to reach Alaska and the Pacific Northwest of the United States.

Reporting by Michael Nienaber; editing by Mark Heinrich

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