Asselborn: US president does not need to respond to provocations every single time
The ongoing tensions between North Korea and the USA have European states worried enough to make statements.
Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg’s foreign affairs minister, has joined calls for de-escalation directed at the US administration.
In an interview with RTL radio on Thursday 10 August, Asselborn said that this “goading each other” was dangerous, referring to US president Donald Trump’s statement on Tuesday that “North Korea best not make any more threats to the US. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”
After the UN security council passed unanimously wide-ranging economic sanctions (UN security council resolution 2371/2017) against North Korea last week, a leaked US intelligence report stated on Monday that Pyongyang had developed a nuclear warhead small enough to put on a missile and would continue its nuclear missile programme. This prompted Trump’s statement above and, on Wednesday 9 August, he tweeted that he had “renovated and modernized our nuclear arsenal. It is now stronger and more powerful than ever before.”
North Korea says its plan to fire four missiles near the US territory of Guam will soon be ready. State media said Hwasong-12 rockets would pass over Japan and land in the sea about 30km (17 miles) from Guam, if the plan was approved by Kim Jong-un, the BBC has reported.
German foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel said that Trump was using the same rhetoric and aggressive tone as North Korea, and that he was worried that it escalates and results in a military conflict.
“the determination of the American president, as it was expressed last night, was the same determination that every American president would have shown, because they cannot accept that a part of their territory could be the target of nuclear missiles.”
He added that France called for “responsibility and de-escalation”, and that France was ready to contribute anything for “a peaceful solution.”
Asselborn said: “The US president does not need to respond to provocations every time.” He added that he “hoped the level-headed people in the US, such as secretary of state Tillerson, can come out on top.”
According to Politico, EU commission spokeswoman Catherine Ray said Pyongyang is in “outright violation” of international commitments, but the EU “excludes” any military solution to the standoff.”