German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday she was in “clear disagreement’ with US President Donald Trump over his threat to destroy North Korea.
“I am against such threats,” Merkel said in an interview with the radio station Deutsche Welle.
“We believe that any kind of military solution is completely deficient and we support diplomatic efforts,” she said.
“With regards to North Korea, I consider any other option to be without foundation. And this is why there is a clear disagreement on this point with the American president,” Merkel said.
Merkel gave notice that Germany would not watch passively as the North Korean crisis unfolded.
The issue “also concerns us,” she said. “And this is why I am ready — and the foreign minister (Social Democrat Sigmar Gabriel) is ready — to assume my responsibilities.”
Trump, in his maiden speech at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, issued a fiery warning after North Korea tested its sixth and largest nuclear bomb and defied new sanctions by launching its longest-ever missile flight over Japan.
Trump said North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un was “on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime”.
If the US is “forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea,” he said.
Merkel has called for a diplomatic solution to curb North Korea’s armament programme, with the 2015 Iran deal as a possible template. Trump, at the UN, also spoke witheringly of the Iran accord, calling it an “embarrassment” for the United States.