Germany's Merkel offers diplomatic initiative for DPRK nuclear issue

Germany's Merkel offers diplomatic initiative for DPRK nuclear issue

German chancellor Angela Merkel has proposed starting negotiations with the North Koreans over their nuclear weapons programme similar to those that led to Iran curtailing its nuclear program as a possible model for tackling the current crisis in east Asia.

Merkel told the newspaper: "I could also imagine such a format to settle the North Korea conflict". "North Korean scientists are people of some ability, but clearly they're not doing it entirely in a vacuum", a minister said.

Meanwhile, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un praised the "perfect success" of the country's sixth and largest nuclear test and urged further weapons development, according to state media on Sunday. Iran is at the top of the list of suspected countries.

"For them to have done this entirely on their own stretches the bounds of credulity", remarked a source from the Foreign Office in the report.

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.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Sunday that North Korea's nuclear and missile program represented a "global threat and requires a global response", though he refused to say whether an attack on the Pacific US territory of Guam would trigger the military alliance's collective defense clause.

"I would say yes immediately if we were asked to join talks", Merkel told weekly newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.

Merkel said that was "a long but important time of diplomacy" that ultimately had a "good end" past year, referring to when the deal was implemented.

Merkel said a diplomatic solution was the only viable way to resolve the crisis - which has seen North Korea launch a series of missile tests as well as test what it said was a hydrogen bomb. "Europe and especially Germany should be willing to contribute to this approach, playing a very active part", Merkel said.



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