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Westerwelle: North Korea ‘playing with fire’
Photo: DPA

Westerwelle: North Korea ‘playing with fire’

Published: 30 Mar 2013 11:47 GMT+01:00
Updated: 30 Mar 2013 11:47 GMT+01:00

Writing in a column for the Bild tabloid, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said on Saturday he is very concerned about the threat posed by North Korea.

The comments came as North Korea says it is in a "state of war" with its southern neighbour. State media released a statement on Saturday threatening "stern physical actions" in response to provocation.

The regime said military bases in the United States and Pacific would be the first to be hit. North Korea has sharpened its belligerent rhetoric in recent weeks and has responded with fury to joint South Korean and US military exercises over its territory.

Westerwelle accused the country of thwarting attempts to impose effective weapons controls worldwide by vetoing - along with Iran and Syria - the first ever international treaty to regulate global conventional arms trade.

He said although the images and rhetoric emerging from North Korea may strike many as anachronistic, the country presents a real threat to peace in the region.

Westerwelle wrote: “What’s happening on the Korean peninsula may seem far away, but it affects the security architecture of the whole world,” adding “North Korea must stop its irresponsible playing with fire.”

He said Germany was working with its partners to impose sanctions to ensure North Korea withdraws its threats and puts an end to its nuclear programme. He also stressed the importance of “constructive action” from the Chinese government.

DPA/The Local/kkf

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:55 March 30, 2013 by lucksi
Yes, damn those North Koreans. They solely destabilize the region with their military excercises and B2 stealth bomber (with nukes?) flyovers. No wait, that is the other peaceful side that can do no wrong.
14:32 March 30, 2013 by liondens
The B2 were flying over South Korea, not North Korea, so let that be clear for some nuckleheads here. First, that was a message to the South Koreans that their behinds are being covered, and second, that was a message to the north korea tribal that if they make a wrong move, then north korea would be no more in matter of minutes not hours! Each of that B2 can carry several nuk bombs, each of those bombs is 1000 times more powerful than the ones that they used in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It would made westerner cowards feel much more better if the Nato simply wave the white flag or try to reason with North Korea right?
14:41 March 30, 2013 by Englishted
Sorry but I can't see Germany ever getting a permanent seat on the U.N. security there is to much huff and puff and no backbone.
15:55 March 30, 2013 by XFYRCHIEF
lucksi - Yes, once again us terrible Americans are the cause of all evil. Unlike the Nrth Koreans who imprison their own people for any word against the Great Leader, have one of the largest standing armies in the world, have used their submarine to sink a South Korean ship in an unprovoked attack, have launch artillery attacks against the South, and more. At least we stand ready to fight for those we see as our allies. What will Germany do? Issue stern condemnation and bluster about how terrible this is. But guess what? If the Russians were to attack Germany, who would come to their aid? Oh, yeah, us war mongering Americans. And who kept the wolves from the door in the years after WWII? Oh, yeah, us war mongering Americans. This is written by an American who has family serving in the military.
17:15 March 30, 2013 by ChrisRea
"What will Germany do?" - NATO countries, including Germany, helped USA in the last 10 years with the Afghanistan issue. It is quite some time since USA last time actively supported another NATO country.
18:22 March 30, 2013 by raandy
Germany has never lived up to its obligations with NATO. England , France Italy and even Poland have more Credibility in world affairs than Germany.Why concern our selves now.
18:43 March 30, 2013 by jg.
Ebglishted "...I can't see Germany ever getting a permanent seat on the U.N. security ..."

As I understand it, the plan is that France and the UK will handover their permanent seats on the UN Security Council to the EC - and the EC will keep one and donate the other to Brazil. Of course, all of this gives Britain a bigger voice in the world than if they go it alone.
19:53 March 30, 2013 by schneebeck
@ Lucksi #1

"They solely destabilize the region with their military excercises"

You didn't mention their recent nuclear test and what that might have done to make things less stable over there.
20:33 March 30, 2013 by stauderfan
wah, wah, wah,....
20:35 March 30, 2013 by ATM
As we all know NATO is and has never been in the heavy lift business of executing a military operation. Germany's credibility is very weak when it comes time to take care of business.
20:36 March 30, 2013 by liondens
Oh, and I think another message is for Beijing, if one of those H-bombs is dropped on North Korea, the smoke that will be covered your city would be more than just the co2 that you have been famously inhaling! We all know that China has long been the North Korea's enabler...right?
21:21 March 30, 2013 by raandy
y ATM that is the truth , Germany does not live up to expectations of its NATO partners.
21:49 March 30, 2013 by owlguard
I wonder if we are missing something. Why is Obama making a show of force in support S Korea? Does anyone really believe Obama wants a war with N Korea? There is more politics going on here than meets the eye. What happens if N. Korea attacks S Korea? What if Obama hesitates to bring sufficient force to quell the conflict? Will a liberal administration cash in on a conservative call for support of S Korea? If Obama can cause a military action on N Korea's part and then make the conservative party look like war mongers . . . I don't know but I do know there is more to this than what we see.
22:32 March 30, 2013 by liondens
#13

Oh you missng more than just something here...but let me make it simple for you ok? First, let me ask you this question...what do you think the USA would do back then if the Soviet Union was invaded West Germany? Do you think the Americans would just simply withraw their forces and let the USSR take West Germany? Well, South Korea in the last 60 years is just exactly like the west germany back then...got it?

One on one the south korea will do just fine against the north, they have technology and twice the population campare to the north(50 millions south, 24 millions north), but they have a military pact with the USA, even stronger than some Nato countries I believe( I can't imagine the americans would send their boys to die for the Turkey, which is a nato member btw). Besides, 30,000 american GIs are currently station in south korea as we speak, so do you think Obama has a choice?
00:07 March 31, 2013 by Leo Strauss
Germany for shame! Drang nach Osten? Blood and Iron? Today Germany, tomorrow the world? Where is the blood lust? Where is the teutonic backbone? Where are the evil Hollywood Germans when they are most needed? Every second piece that I read at the Local has a Nazi theme and the most we can hope for now is... hot air? Perhaps we could cobble together a crack commando of extras from the latest WW2 film George Clooney is now shooting in Berlin and airdrop them into North Korea Skozeny-style. Kampf nicht klagen! If this keeps up Hollywood is going to be hard pressed to continue cranking out the tired old Nazi stereotypes, so come on-- this is bad for business! Not to say anything of our NORTH ATLANTIC T.O. obligations over there in the uhm...Far East. This just won't do. And besides, Goldman-Sachs wants to open an office in Pyongyang. I recommend that we all sit down over this Easter weekend and watch Red Dawn and Olympus Has Fallen. Maybe then Germans will realize the true gravity of the situation. Let's not let down our long-time friend, ally, liberator and protector! America needs our help against a nuclear-armed North Korea- this is a country that can actually fight back for a change!
07:13 March 31, 2013 by owlguard
Comparing America's response to a Soviet invastion into west Germany verse a N Korea attack on S Korea is not very enlightening. Lets talk acttual events with the current administration. America watched as its Lybia Ambassador was killed and no military response was made. Coptic Christians are being beaten and killed in Egypt in an alarming rate but the US sends Egypt fighter jets. Israel is hit every day with rocket fire and Obama takes a hands off approach. An American citizen is arrested in Iran because of his religious beliefs and no US paper or National News media except FOX covers it. What would America do if N Korea attacked S Korea? I don't know.

As far as S Korea's relationship with the US, I know where we stood with Reagan, but with the world order Bush administrations? or the global appology tour President who bowed to a Saudi King? Situation changes with Presidents and I for one do not believe President Obama's hands are tied. I think he has proven that over and over again.
13:14 March 31, 2013 by bwjijsdtd
This is another idiot that I place on the same level as Justin Bieber ...
13:25 March 31, 2013 by liondens
#16

About 2 years ago 2 american GIs were shot dead by a muslim extremist in Germany, so do you think America should attack Germany too? Lybia, Egypt, do you have any evidence that those 2 governments have directly or indirectly helped the terrorists? Did those 2 countries have ever threatened to attack or nuk America? Do you really think that America should go to war anytime when one of its citizen got arrested overseas? Let me tell you something here...if north korea attacked south korea, which means that american bases are among the first to get hit, and if Obama doing nothing, he'll be removed and arrested by the american arm forces, and eventually impeach by the congress... got it? Well, may be that is something an enlightening person doesn't need to know right?
21:35 March 31, 2013 by tangledeuro
So these small eyed evil (Koreans) think they can trouble the real devil (USA)..
10:19 April 1, 2013 by Englishted
@ jg.

As far as I know that is incorrect ,with the possibility of the U.K. leaving the E.U. they will not give up their seat ,and I would not hold your breath on France doing so in the near future . So where was your source ?.
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