European Press Review 11.02.05 | DW-RADIO | DW | 11.02.2005
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European Press Review 11.02.05

Europe's papers focus on North Korea’s announcement that it’s not prepared to continue the six-way talks on its nuclear weapons programme, and that it already has nuclear weapons as a deterent.


The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung urges the international community to keep the pressure up on Pyongyang over ist nuclear weapons programme. It writes: "For quite some time, the United States has been operating under the assumption that North Korea probably does have a small number of nuclear weapons. The fact that President Bush didn’t use his latest state of the nation address to issue a warning to North Korea, could paradoxically, have been interpreted by Pyongyang to mean that Washington was pre-occupied with other issues." It continues: "If North Korea really has the bomb, the international community must not, after an initial spell of outrage, grow to accept this." (The North Korean leader) "Kim is also a prolific exporter of missiles and other dangerous technology. If you let him off the hook, it will only encourage others to follow his lead."

The Madrid daily El País comments: "This new situation leaves Washington with few options and makes it even more urgent for the dialogue to resume. Nobody in the international community supports a military solution. It’s time for all efforts to be concentrated on a diplomatic resolution." And it concludes: "Instead of threatening taking more or less direct action against the "outpost of tyranny," Bush really needs to convince regimes like the ones in Iran and North Korea that possessing nuclear weapons does not enhance their security."

The Moscow business paper Vedomosti blames the Bush administration for the fact that it has come this far. It writes: "The declared policy of the current US government is meant to improve security for the United States and the rest of the world. But by pursuing this policy, aimed at ‘destroying the axis of evil,’ ‘drying up the swamp of terrorism,’ or taking out the ‘outpost of tyranny,’ it’s creating even greater threats for the world and the United States."

And the General-Anzeiger of Bonn says: "Domestic concerns may be part of what led to this spectacular announcement by North Korea’s leadership. There’s increasing criticism and resistance inside the country. But this situation calls for a cautious diplomatic approach. Because if you’re seeking political dialogue with whomever it might be, trying to convince them to make changes in the name of peace, you hardly do yourself any favours by constantly kicking that person in the shins, under the negotiating table."

"...historical revisionism of the NPD is an insult to the collective memory"

One of the top domestic issues here in Germany is Sunday’s commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the bombing of the eastern city of Dresden. The neo-Nazi party the NPD is hoping to hi-jack the event by portraying the bombing of Dresden as what they have called a "bombing Holocaust."

The Berlin based daily Die Welt writes: "It’s the intention of the NPD to radically change the German view of history, that is, to deny German crimes or even justify them. What’s standing in their way are not just the historical facts, but also what has become a solid German consciousness, that doesn’t leave any room for wangling one’s way past the facts." It concludes: "The historical revisionism of the NPD is an insult to the collective memory, and yes, the honour of the nation."