With Friends Like Merkel, Who Needs a Nuclear-Armed North Korea?
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is running for re-election and apparently feels compelled to solve the world's crises while she's at it.
Merkel is proposing Iran-style nuclear talks to end the confrontation between the U.S. and North Korea. This is exactly -- exactly -- what Kim Jong-un wants and the reason he has been breathing fire for these last several months about nuking America. North Korea's threats don't bother the German leader.
And why should they? Kim isn't threatening Germany. Merkel can afford to look like a statesman to German voters because the North Korean leader isn't targeting Berlin, or Bonn, or any other German city with his nukes.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel told a newspaper she would be prepared to become involved in a diplomatic initiative to end the North Korean nuclear and missiles program, and suggested the Iran nuclear talks could be a model.
South Korea on Saturday braced for a possible further missile test by North Korea as it marked its founding anniversary, just days after its sixth and largest nuclear test rattled global financial markets and further escalated tensions in the region.
"If our participation in talks is desired, I will immediately say yes," Merkel told Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung in an interview to be published on Sunday.
She pointed to negotiations that led to a landmark nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers in 2015. Back then, Germany and the five countries on the United Nations Security Council with veto power took part in talks that led to Iran agreeing to curb its nuclear work in return for the lifting of most sanctions.
Merkel said that was "a long but important time of diplomacy" that ultimately had a "good end" last year, referring to when the deal was implemented.
"I could imagine such a format being used to end the North Korea conflict. Europe and especially Germany should be prepared to play a very active part in that," Merkel added.
She said she thought the only way to deal with North Korea's nuclear program was to come to a diplomatic solution, adding: "A new arms race starting in the region would not be in anyone's interests."
Europe should stand united in trying to bring about a diplomatic solution and "do everything that can be done in terms of sanctions," she said.
Merkel is expected to win a fourth term in office in a Sept. 24 vote, with polls giving her conservatives a double-digit lead over their rival Social Democrats.
How many errors are there in Merkel's statement? Does she really believe the Iranian deal was a "good end" to the threat of Iranian nukes? And it's a little late to prevent a "new arms race" in the region. Japan, especially, is thinking of chucking 70 years of strategic doctrine that did not include building nuclear weapons. South Korea has been toying with the idea of building nukes. Just what does she think is going on in the world?