Germany: Merkel to hold Putin phone call over North Korean crisis — government spokesperson

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is set to hold a phone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin as part of talks over increasing pressure on North Korea, according to spokesperson for the German government Steffen Seibert, speaking from Berlin on Monday. Seibert also said that the German government was willing to hold «formal or even informal» talks with North Korea in an effort to... Еще find a peaceful solution to the North Korean crisis. Seibert said that the German chancellor had been holding conversations with state leaders including French President Emmanuel Macron and US President Donald Trump over a solution to the North Korean crisis, including placing further sanctions on the DPRK. He went on to confirm that Merkel intends to hold a similar conversation with the Russian leader about increasing pressure on North Korea; «as you can read in the newspaper, a telephone conversation with President Putin is also planned, I won't deny that». Also highlighted was the German government's willingness to place more pressure on North Korea in the form of further economic sanctions following the country's latest nuclear test, its largest to date. «For there to be such a solution, however, pressure on North Korea must be increased. And that means placing harsher sanctions on North Korea, which we are in favour of», Seibert said. The spokesperson also reiterated the German government's stance that there can only be a peaceful solution to the current crisis. He went on to say that, should there be a possibility for Germany to hold talks with North Korea «then Germany is, in coordination with its partners, prepared to support such conversations and to find a suitable path to a peaceful solution». The statement comes after German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed the idea that multilateral talks with North Korea could help to ease tensions over the DPRK's nuclear programme. Speaking to the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine, Merkel said the 2015 negotiations between Iran and UN Security Council members could serve as a model for peace talks with North Korea. Tensions with North Korea have escalated over recent missile tests as well as the detonation of a miniaturised H-bomb last Sunday.

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