The German government, through its Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, has told Japan that they can count on their support in the midst of the rising tensions in the region due to North Korea‘s threats to attack. The statement was made after the meeting of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI) in The Hague, Netherlands.
The 10 country bloc was initiated by Australia and Japan in 2010 and also includes the Netherlands, Turkey, Mexico, the United Arab Emirates plus Canada, Chile, Poland. The aim of the initiative is to get all countries to abide by the Non-Proliferation Treaty so the world will finally be free of nuclear weapons. At the ministerial meeting this week, the issue of North Korea was topmost on everyone’s mind. Westerwelle said it is important that they send a clear message to North Korea now more than ever that their actions are not acceptable and they should not “inflame the conflict on the Korean peninsula”.
Japan said on Tuesday that it has deployed two Patriot Advanced Capability-3 surface-to-air missile launchers at the defence ministry plus batteries in two other locations in Tokyo, in preparation for any attack from Pyongyang. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that they are prepared to defend the safety and integrity of its people and territories. But all these are just defense preparations and not to provoke further tensions in the region. Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said that North Korea should exercise restraint “rather than repeat violent rhetoric.”
Pyongyang said on Tuesday that the Korean Peninsula is heading for a thermo-nuclear war and has warned foreigners in South Korea that they should consider evacuating. The statement was largely met with indifference by the foreign community.
[ via Global Post ]