On 24 April, a Federal Foreign Office Spokesperson in Berlin issued the following statement on reports of a ballistic missile test by North Korea:
If the reports on another missile test by North Korea are confirmed, the North Korean regime’s frank disregard for the international community would have reached a new level. We condemn the provocative actions of the Government in Pyongyang in the strongest possible terms. Not only do they infringe internationally binding UN Security Council resolutions; they also put regional security at risk.
We urgently call on North Korea to comply with the relevant Security Council resolutions. Within the EU and in conjunction with all its other partners, Germany will lobby for the international community to take a determined and unambiguous stand against North Korea’s actions.
Since the start of the year, North Korea has already conducted several tests in violation of its obligations under international law. This ballistic missile launch is the latest in a series of such tests. On 6 January, North Korea conducted a nuclear weapon test (the fourth, following earlier ones in 2007, 2009 and 2013), and it has repeatedly tested ballistic missiles over the past few months.
Relevant UN Security Council resolutions (nos. 1695, 1718, 1874, 2087 and 2094) call for the cessation of the North Korean missile and nuclear programme and ban North Korea from using ballistic missile technology. The purpose of the missile launch is immaterial: resolutions 1718 and 1874 prohibit all missile launches by North Korea.
With resolution 2270 (2016), the Security Council imposed new sanctions on North Korea containing among other things substantial elements of an economic embargo (e.g. ban on trade in coal, kerosene, rare earth minerals) and financial and transportation restrictions. The United States, Japan and South Korea have imposed further‑reaching bilateral sanctions. The EU is discussing the possibility of additional sanctions.