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German chancellor says no military solution to North Korean issue

Angela Merkel is confident that escalating rhetoric will not help resolve the conflict

BERLIN, August 11. /TASS/. Sharp statements will not help resolve the conflict surrounding North Korea, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at a press conference following her talks with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi and Director General of the International Organization for Migration William Lacy Swing on Friday.

According to Merkel, the search for a way out of the crisis should be conducted on the United Nations Security Council platform.

"I am confident that escalating rhetoric will not help resolve the conflict," the German chancellor said. "Nor do I see a military solution to it," she added.

Merkel also pointed out that in order to find a way out of the current situation, there was the need for "continuous work in the United Nations Security Council and more close cooperation, particularly between the United States and China," also involving other regional countries.

Washington and Pyongyang have recently been exchanging sharp statements. On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump told reporters that North Korea should stop threatening the United States, otherwise Washington will answer with "fire and fury the likes of which the world has never seen." North Korea’s Central News Agency (KCNA) later reported that Pyongyang was "carefully examining" plans for a missile strike on the Andersen Air Force Base located on the US Pacific territory of Guam.

At the same time, KCNA issued a detailed statement saying that a relevant plan is expected to be ready by mid-August. According to the plan, four Hwasong-12 missiles will fly around 3,400 kilometers, particularly crossing Japan’s airspace, and land in water 30-40 kilometers off the Guam coast. In Pyongyang’s opinion, this step will be aimed at deterring the US forces in the Asia-Pacific region.

Tensions around the Korean Peninsula started to rise in light of the implementation of the North Korean missile program. In July, Pyongyang conducted two ballistic missile tests which provoked a sharp response from the United States, Japan and South Korea. Washington has been repeatedly stating that no option including the use of military force could be ruled out.