South Korea's major political parties unanimously welcomed the U.N. Security Council resolution to punish North Korea for its recent provocations in a rare bipartisan move Thursday, echoing calls for the communist state to change its behavior.
The latest resolution unanimously adopted by the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday aims to punish Pyongyang for conducting its fourth nuclear test on Jan. 6 and subsequent launch of a long-range rocket on Feb. 7. The North claims the rocket was used to place a satellite into space, but most countries view it as a test to check related missile technology.
Rep. Kim Young-woo, spokesman of the ruling Saenuri Party, issued a statement in which he defined the latest international sanctions imposed on Pyongyang as an "inevitable step to be taken in response to the North's unacceptable provocations."
"North Korea must come to grips with the gravity of the message from the international community and immediately suspend all programs for nuclear development and weapons of mass destruction," he said.
The main opposition Minjoo Party followed suit in praising the U.N. sanctions, saying they are a "display of the international community's firm and unified determination to deter the North from further provocations."
"North Korea is solely responsible for the harsh international sanctions, and therefore it should not hold grudges about them," said Kim Sung-soo, spokesman of the Minjoo. He voiced hope that the latest sanctions could prevent the North from further advancing its nuclear and long-range rocket development and bring about stability in the region.
The Saenuri and the Minjoo have often been at odds over the extent of punitive actions that should be applied to the communist state for its series of provocations.
The minor opposition People's Party also expressed its support for the comprehensive sanctions.
"We urge the government to take stern actions against any moves that pose a threat to the safety of the people and stability on the Korean Peninsula. The party will join hands for such efforts," said Rep. Ahn Cheol-soo, co-chairman of the People's Party.
The latest Resolution 2270 represents the harshest sanctions the UNSC has ever imposed on the North, as it requires, among other things, mandatory inspection of all cargo going in and out of the North regardless of whether by land, sea or air.
It is the fifth Security Council resolution imposing sanctions on the North. The previous resolutions were adopted after the North's first nuclear test in 2006, its second nuclear test in 2009, its long-range rocket launch in late 2012 and its third nuclear test in early 2013. (Yonhap)