04:06 GMT +317 July 2019
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    A man, right, watches a public TV screen broadcasting news of North Korea's launch of missile, in Tokyo

    France Believes Only Tougher Sanctions Can Bring N Korea to Negotiating Table

    © AP Photo / Eugene Hoshiko
    Asia & Pacific
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    Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have been running high recently, with the US and South Korea intensifying joint military drills in the region.

    BEIJING (Sputnik) — France believes that North Korea will only return to the UN bargaining table if the country faces even harsher international sanctions, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told a press conference following talks with his Chinese counterpart Wang on Friday.

    READ MORE: Diplomatic Tools to Use Against North Korea Still Available — US Think Tank

    According to the French diplomat, there is no military solution to the North Korean problem, voicing Paris' strong opposition to the possible measure.

    "It is only a final, extreme measure," Le Drian added.

    Macron has repeatedly stated that Pyongyang's provocations were a threat to peace and security in the world.

    South Korean soldiers patrol along the scene of a blast inside the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas in Paju, South Korea, in this picture taken on August 9, 2015
    © REUTERS / South Korean Defense Ministry/Yonhap
    France's Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian characterized the situation as "extremely serious" and warned that the DPRK could within months develop the capacity to deliver a nuclear strike on the US or Europe.

    In September, reports emerged that Paris was even considering skipping this year’s Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, over safety concerns on the Korean Peninsula.

    READ MORE: South Korean Spy Agency: North Korea's Next Nuclear Test ‘Is Possible Any Time'

    Over the past months North Korea has carried out a number of missile launches and nuclear tests in violation of UN Security Council resolutions, prompting worldwide criticism and the escalation of tensions on the Korean Peninsula. The international community, including France, has criticized the military activities of the isolated Asian nation and tightened the sanctions against Pyongyang in response to its provocative actions.

    missile launch, negotiations, Emmanuel Macron, Jean-Yves Le Drian, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), France
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