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Foreign Minister Westerwelle speaks on the phone with the German Ambassador in North Korea

07.04.2013 - Press release

The following statement has been issued by a spokesperson for the Federal Foreign Office:

Foreign Minister Westerwelle spoke on the phone this morning (7 April) with the German Ambassador in North Korea, Gerhard Thiedemann.

The Ambassador described the current situation as follows:

The situation is tense but calm. The security situation and threat level are being constantly evaluated. There is close coordination with the embassies of other countries in North Korea. The Embassy will be able to function as normal for the foreseeable future. The Federal Foreign Office’s travel and safety advice is being reviewed on an ongoing basis. Travellers are currently advised to avoid all non-essential travel to North Korea.

Foreign Minister Westerwelle thanked the Ambassador and all of his staff for their exemplary dedication under difficult circumstances.

The Minister again spelled out to the North Korean leadership that any cut-off date after which North Korea would no longer be able to guarantee the safety of embassies was unacceptable. There are clear rules on this under international law which are also binding for North Korea.

North Korea’s stirring up of tensions is irresponsible and represents a serious threat to peace and security in the region. Germany will continue to seek close coordination with its allies around the world as well as a dialogue with the Security Council members China and Russia.

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