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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 September 2018

Merkel suggests Iranian-style nuclear deal for North Korea

German chancellor says that a similar deal to the accord arranged with the Middle Eastern state could be adopted

German chancellor has suggested a diplomatic solution to the North Korean stand-off
German chancellor has suggested a diplomatic solution to the North Korean stand-off

German chancellor Angela Merkel has proposed starting negotiations with the North Koreans over their nuclear weapons programme similar to those that led to Iran curtailing its nuclear program as a possible model for tackling the current crisis in east Asia.

Talking to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper in an article published on Sunday, Ms Merkel stressed that a diplomatic solution was the only viable way to resolve the crisis. She added, “If our participation in talks is wanted, I will say yes immediately.”

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China backs stronger sanctions on North Korea but Russia resists

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The five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany conducted long-running talks with Iran that led to a 2015 deal for international sanctions to be lifted in exchange for Tehran curbing its nuclear activities.

Merkel said: “I could also imagine such a format to settle the North Korea conflict.”

It was earlier reported that North Korea had illegally exported coal, iron and other commodities worth at least $270 million (Dh992m) to China and other countries including India, Malaysia and Sri Lanka in the six-month period ending in early August in violation of UN sanctions.

Last week the rogue state detonated a hydrogen bomb test, its sixth and most powerful nuclear test and recently launched a powerful new intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan.

The United States has been reacting diplomatically for the last week, engaging with the United Nations and seeking fresh sanctions.

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