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North Korean weapons programme

Serious threat to the region

The federal government is concerned about North Korea’s threat to attack the US-administered Pacific island of Guam. Pyongyang, but also Beijing and Moscow, must contribute to a de-escalation, said the deputy government spokesperson Demmer.

Barbed wire in front of the North Korean flag The federal government is concerned about the political development in North Korea Photo: imago/ZUMA Press

"The ever-new nuclear threats and threatening gestures of the North Korean leadership are a serious threat to peace in the region and beyond," said deputy government spokesperson Ulrike Demmer in the government press conference. With the recent sanctions decision of the UN Security Council, the international community had in the past week "taken the inevitable consequences based on Pyongyang's actions".

The aim of the federal government, said Demmer, was to avoid further military escalation in the North Pacific, and to resolve the conflicts there peacefully.

Consider the interests of the people in North Korea

In the interests of the people in North Korea, this should also be the objective of the North Korean leadership. Foregoing further nuclear armament could be a first step on the way to achieving this. But this lies in Pyongyang's hands.

In this regard, in particular "China and Russia have the responsibility to do everything in their power to bring North Korea off this confrontation course," continued Demmer.

Offer to talk by the USA

The spokesperson of the Federal Foreign Office, Martin Schäfer, added that he saw the latest offer for negotiations by the American Foreign Minister, Rex Tillerson, as the right road to follow, to "set talks with North Korea in motion as soon as the regime agrees to abandon illegal missile tests".

Minister of Defence Ursula von der Leyen believes that China, in particular, has a special duty regarding the North Korean conflict. "It is absolutely crucial that China, above all, also plays a role. China has influence on North Korea, it is the only country which has influence on North Korea," she said on Wednesday, during a visit to the army’s officers training school in Dresden. North Korea is highly dependent on China. Therefore, China has a special responsibility to make positive use of this influence.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017