EU leaders to call for end to North Korea's weapons program: draft

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (not pictured) guides the launch of a Hwasong-12 missile in this undated combination photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on September 16, 2017. KCNA via REUTERS

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union leaders will demand on Thursday that North Korea end its nuclear and ballistic weapons program, according to the draft final statement of an EU summit.

The statement, to be delivered after a discussion among leaders on Thursday evening, will follow the latest EU sanctions agreed on Monday by foreign ministers, which go beyond United Nations measures.

Leaders will tell Pyongyang “to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner”, the draft said.

Leaders will also say they are ready to consider further measures, without specifying what they might be. Diplomats said they could include sanctions on non-EU countries still doing business with Pyongyang.

Among other steps, the European Union has now banned the sale of oil and oil products to North Korea, although that is largely symbolic, aimed at encouraging countries that have more significant levels of trade with the country to follow suit.

China and Russia have resisted an outright ban on crude exports.

The EU has imposed a blanket ban on doing business with North Korea.

Reporting by Francesco Guarascio, writing by Robin Emmott