South Korean President Moon Jae-in urged North Korea to immediately halt all its provocations Monday, saying his country will not tolerate anymore.
"President Moon said the country will not overlook any additional provocation from now while expressing his intention to take punitive measures under cooperation with the international community, including the most powerful sanctions and pressure, stressing the need for strong and practical measures that North Korea can feel keenly," the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said of Moon's telephone talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The conversation between the two leaders came one day after the communist North staged its latest and possibly the most powerful nuclear test so far.
It also came at the request of the German leader, who wanted to personally hear about the "shocking news" from the South Korean president and express the support of her country, as well as the European Union, for South Korea, according to Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Park Soo-hyun.
"President Moon noted the North's nuclear test was a serious challenge to global peace and security that also violated UN Security Council resolutions, and also a very serious provocation that is on a whole new level from those in the past in its size and nature," Park said in a press release.
Moon asked for Germany's support in pushing for a fresh UNSC sanctions resolution on the North, he added.
Merkel expressed full support.
Still, they voiced the need to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue peacefully.
"The two leaders agreed the reason the international community is seeking to put maximum sanctions and pressure is to make North Korea voluntarily come to the dialogue table, and that the principle of peaceful resolution of the North Korean nuclear and missile issues must be maintained even under difficult conditions," the Cheong Wa Dae spokesman said.
The Moon-Merkel conversation came as a second in the series of Moon's discussions with other global leaders following the North's latest and sixth nuclear test.
The South Korean leader held a telephone conversation with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe earlier in the day. He was scheduled to hold bilateral talks with his US counterpart Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin later Monday. (Yonhap)