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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Diplomacy: Steinmeier demands that North Korea stop the missile program

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Actually, a Federal President strikes more diplomatic tones – especially when traveling abroad. In Seoul, however, Frank-Walter Steinmeier speaks plain language. It applies to the neighbor North Korea.

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During a visit to South Korea on Friday, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier condemned North Korea’s missile tests and demanded that they be stopped. “These tests violate UN Security Council resolutions and endanger international security,” said Steinmeier after talks with President Yoon Suk Yeol in the capital, Seoul.

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North Korea should implement the UN resolutions and start “serious negotiations” on the dismantling of its nuclear missile program. The communist-ruled country is currently testing rockets again at an unusually high frequency, despite almost unanimous international criticism. The topic was also on the agenda of the UN Security Council in New York on Friday.

Steinmeier said an unprecedented series of tests has been observed since the beginning of the year. The salvos of the past few days have aggravated the situation considerably. “This escalation is unacceptable and the Pyongyang regime alone is responsible for it.” Yoon said he agreed with Steinmeier “to cooperate closely and bring about a united response from the international community in the event of a serious North Korean provocation.” The German side pointed out that this meant a diplomatic reaction.

More than 50 tests this year alone

Steinmeier paid tribute to South Korea’s “tireless efforts” to restart the negotiation process. “North Korea is and remains committed to the complete, irreversible and verifiable termination of its WMD and ballistic missile programs.” The country, which is largely isolated internationally, has long been pushing ahead with the development of nuclear-capable missiles. More than 50 tests have been counted since the beginning of the year. This week alone, South Korea’s military recorded more than 25 tests – probably including a nuclear-capable missile with a range of several thousand kilometers.

Yoon said Germany and South Korea want to work more closely together to build stable supply chains and strengthen energy security. He also raised concerns about “protectionist tendencies within Europe.” “I have asked that Germany, as one of the most important EU members, take special interest in ensuring that there are no discriminatory measures against Korean companies.” Steinmeier also spoke of greater cooperation in renewable energies and the production of green hydrogen.

At the start of their visit to the South Korean capital, the Federal President and his wife Elke Büdenbender laid flowers at the memorial for the more than 150 victims of last weekend’s Halloween disaster. “We mourn with the Korean people,” said Steinmeier. The Federal President invited Yoon to visit him in the coming year. Then both countries celebrate the 140th anniversary of their diplomatic relations.

Source: Stern

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