Berlin will not “automatically” side with the US should it face an armed conflict with North Korea, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said.
Merkel believes the North Korean crisis cannot be resolved through military means
The German chancellor was speaking at the ‘Deutschland Live’ event organized by national newspaper Handelsblatt, where the ongoing North Korean crisis was among the key topics addressed.
When asked about the worst-case scenario, namely an armed conflict between Washington and Pyongyang, Merkel said that Germany would not necessarily back America.
“No, not automatically. I do not see any military solution to [the crisis with] North Korea. I think it is wrong,” Merkel said.
The German leader called for a peaceful resolution to tensions, insisting that “diplomatic means have not been utilized in full.”
Merkel has rejected any military option for North Korea, while Washington and Pyongyang continue to be embroiled in a war of words. At the height of recent tensions, US President Donald Trump promised to meet any further threats from North Korea with “fire and fury,” while the North threatened to strike a US base in Guam.
“Germany will be intensively involved in any non-military solutions,” Merkel said. “But an escalation of rhetoric is the wrong answer.”
In light of Merkel’s comments, RT looks back at other points of contention between the US and European nations.
Meanwhile, Berlin has also voiced support for the Russian-Chinese initiative for a “double freeze” to resolve the Korean crisis. The plan involves simultaneously stopping missile tests by North Korea and halting South Korean drills with the US.
Washington rebuffed the calls, however, and is currently holding the large-scale Ulchi-Freedom Guardian exercises on the Korean Peninsula with Seoul. Despite the US saying that the drills are designed to enhance readiness and protect the region, Pyongyang sees them as a direct threat its security.
Russia’s deputy envoy to the United Nations, Vladimir Safronkov, warned in July that “any attempts to justify a military solution are inadmissible and will lead to unpredictable consequences for the region.”
“In the same manner, attempts to economically strangle North Korea are equally unacceptable, as millions of North Koreans remain in need of humanitarian aid,” he added.