Merkel wants to accommodate North Korea with Iran-style nuclear talks
Just whose side is German chancellor Angela Merkel on?
Running for re-election in a race she is expected to win easily, Merkel said in an interview she would support talks with North Korea about their nuclear and missile programs. She cited the Iran deal as a template for a "good deal" that would prevent conflict and said that "Germany should be prepared to play a very active part in that."
Kim is doing a victory dance.
"I could imagine such a format being used to end the North Korea conflict. Europe and especially Germany should be prepared to play a very active part in that," Merkel added.
She said she thought the only way to deal with North Korea's nuclear program was to come to a diplomatic solution, adding: "A new arms race starting in the region would not be in anyone's interests."
Europe should stand united in trying to bring about a diplomatic solution and "do everything that can be done in terms of sanctions," she said.
Merkel is expected to win a fourth term in office in a Sept. 24 vote, with polls giving her conservatives a double-digit lead over their rival Social Democrats.
Merkel is widely seen in Germany as a safe pair of hands at a time of global uncertainty such as the North Korea crisis, Britain's looming departure from the European Union and Donald Trump's presidency in the United States.
Merkel has spoken to leaders including Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe about North Korea this week. The newspaper said, without naming its sources, that she would speak by telephone with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday.
So Kim goes off testing nukes and missiles, and Merkel wants to reward that behavior by doing exactly what Kim wants?
She's correct that this would be the same situation that led to talks with Iran. The same kind of incomprehensible thinking that rewards an adversary for dangerous and illicit behavior by sitting down to "negotiate" a deal is being proposed here.
Merkel is under no illusions – nor are any other E.U. leaders who participated in the Iran talks – that Tehran's nuclear program has been permanently shelved. So why go through the same charade with North Korea?
No matter what deal would be reached with North Korea, it would almost certainly include an acceptance of its status as a nuclear power. There are those already saying this is better than going to war. It's repeated like a mantra, with no proof and no logical reason given for that kind of optimism.
North Korea isn't only a rogue state. It is paranoid; belligerent; and, as Kim has already shown, willing to go to the brink of war to get what it wants. You wouldn't give a five-year-old a loaded pistol. Neither should we accept North Korea's status as a nuclear power.
Merkel can spout off like this because no German cities are under threat. It also makes her look like a statesman to the German voter.
To the rest of us, she looks like a dangerously naive and ignorant politician.