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Merkel, Moon urge tougher sanctions on Pyongyang

July 5, 2017

Berlin and Seoul have said a clear message is needed to stop the "threat and provocation" from Pyongyang, after a new ICBM test. President Moon hopes to use the upcoming G20 to discuss the matter with major powers.

Berlin Angela Merkel & Moon Jae-in, Präsident Südkorea
Image: Reuters/M. Tantussi

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and South Korean President Moon Jae-in agreed on Wednesday that tougher sanctions were necessary against North Korea after it announced a test-launch of a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

"This is a great threat and provocation," said Moon during his joint press conference with the German chancellor. The president was in Berlin ahead of an upcoming G20 summit in Hamburg.

"North Korea should stop immediately...We should work on more sanctions," during the G20, Moon added.

Merkel said that North Korea represented a "great danger" to global peace. She said that Germany stood wholeheartedly against the atomic ambitions of leader Kim Jong-Un.

Korean reunification

Before their joint talks, the chancellor had also expressed her hopes about eventual reunification of the peninsula that has been split since the 1950s.

"This is a concern that lies close to our hearts because we know from our own experience what a divided country means, and how happy we were when we were able to restore German unity in 1989," Merkel said.

The comments were a reaction to a North Korean statement issued on Tuesday, declaring that it had made a "historic breakthrough" in its weapons program. Pyongyang claimed that it successfully tested its new ICBM, which was later confirmed by Washington. The US and South Korea responded by participating in joint military exercises to act as a warning to Pyongyang.

es/se (dpa, Reuters)