South Korea’s Vice Defense Minister Hwang In-Moo is visiting Cambodia and Laos this week, as part of a global bid to court countries close to North Korea, which continues to openly defy U.N sanctions, with its most recent missile launch having taken place on June 22.
“Hwang will meet with Cambodia and Laos’s senior defense officials and discuss bilateral defense cooperation. During the talks with senior officials, he plans to request cooperation in dealing with North Korea’s nuclear issues, including efforts to push for the implementation of a United Nations Security Council resolution ,” declared Seoul’s Ministry of National Defense in a statement on Monday.
As a response to Kim Jong Un’s provocative testing of ballistic missiles and nuclear bombs, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has significantly toughened up and expanded sanctions against Pyongyang. UNSC Resolution 2270, passed in March 2016, bans all arms trade and requires all countries to inspect all cargo passing through their territory to or from North Korea, to impede the regime’s ability to raise money and technological resources for its nuclear weapons program.
The South has made the new sanctions a key part of its policy towards the North and is campaigning worldwide to ensure strictest implementation of the arms ban and of overall compliance with the UNSC ruling.
The trip to Southeast Asia follows recent high-profiled visits to Russia, Cuba, Uganda, and Iran- all allies of the North- but which reaped only mixed results for Seoul.
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