China / World

EU urged to play larger role to solve DPRK issue

By Fu Jing in Brussels (China Daily) Updated: 2017-09-08 09:08

Germany could offer peaceful solutions in solving crisis, official says

A senior European Union official has urged the bloc to join the diplomatic effort to ease the tensions threatening security in Northeast Asia.

Jo Leinen, chairman of the European Parliament's Delegation of China Relations, on Wednesday stressed the need for talks between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and other parties to ensure a peaceful resolution to the unrest created by the DPRK's recent missile launches.

"I am encouraging the EU, especially Germany, to work as mediators to help solve the conflict as the situation of the DPRK has been worrying China and other countries," said Leinen.

Leinen said the rationale behind his proposal is that conflict prevention is part of the EU's foreign policy strategy and Germany, in particular, is experienced in offering peaceful solutions to problems.

"We had a painful past during the two world wars last century and we want to share our experiences in how to turn confrontation into cooperation," said Leinen, who is from Germany.

Leinen said the DPRK's missile program, which has extensively violated UN Security Council resolutions, undermines the global nonproliferation mechanism and threatens regional stability.

The situation has created mounting concerns and worries for its neighbors.

"This has worried us (in Europe) as well," he said.

He said he will "encourage EU and Germany" to offer platforms that will help find compromises and solutions in a peaceful way.

"If everybody comes to the arms race, the situation will get even worse," he said.

Leinen's proposal came after Swiss Confederation President Doris Leuthard came up with a similar idea this week, saying that her country is ready to mediate to help resolve the DPRK crisis.

Leuthard said: "We are ready to offer our role ... as mediator. And it is really time now to sit down at a table."

During a phone conversation with US President Donald Trump on Wednesday, President Xi Jinping said that China is firmly committed to achieving the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and upholding the international nuclear nonproliferation mechanism while efforts should focus on diplomacy, a comprehensive use of policies and proactive exploring for solutions of long-term effect to move toward a peaceful settlement and resolution.

Also this week, European Council President Donald Tusk issued a statement saying the DPRK's latest nuclear test gravely violates the country's obligations under international law, repeated demands from the UN Security Council and the global nonproliferation and disarmament regime.

"It compels the international community to unite in swift and decisive reaction," said Tusk. "The DPRK must abandon its nuclear, weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner. It must cease all related activities at once."

But Tusk also said the EU stands ready to sharpen its policy of sanctions and invites the DPRK to restart dialogue on its programs without condition.

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