Merkel in diplomatic push on North Korea, to speak with Putin: spokesman

Elias Hubbard
September 14, 2017

"The only conceivable solution is a peaceful and diplomatic one".

Already hailed by some in the era of President Donald Trump as the main defender of the West and its values, Dr Merkel has stepped forward to suggest a diplomatic alternative to the aggressive language being exchanged between Washington and North Korea.

The U.S. plans to seek a strong resolution Monday from the U.N. Security Council in a bid to convince North Korea to end its provocations and tone down its rhetoric.

New measures would include imposing an oil embargo, banning its exports of textiles and the hiring of North Korean laborers overseas, and subjecting leader Kim Jong Un to an asset freeze and travel ban. Vladimir Putin and Angela Merkel have resolutely condemned Pyongyang's disregard of the UN Security Council resolutions. Last Sunday, North Korea said it tested its largest hydrogen bomb to date.

"If our participation in talks is desired, I will say yes", Merkel said in an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.

Germany and the five countries on the United Nations Security Council with veto power took part in talks that led to Iran agreeing a landmark deal in 2015 to curb its nuclear work in return for the lifting of most economic sanctions. The diplomatic process was "long but important", and eventually resulted in a "good end", she said.

"I could also imagine such a format for the settlement of the North Korean conflict", she told FAZ.

A lawmaker dismissed a recent suggestion by German Chancellor Angela Merkel that the model of Iran nuclear talks could be applied to the North Korea crisis, noting that the Islamic Republic holds a far higher diplomatic stature. "Europe and especially Germany ought to be ready to make a very active contribution", Merkel said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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