Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel in an interview with the “Bild” daily on the fringes of his visit to China on 17 September 2017. Topics: the North Korea crisis, disarmament
Foreign Minister, how can the world stop the mad dictator Kim?
North Korean dictator Kim Jong‑un isn’t mad at all, but is pursuing a cold and well‑thought‑out strategy. If he has the nuclear bomb, or so he believes, then his regime will be secure. Because no one will dare threaten him.
All sanctions against the regime in North Korea have failed so far. And now?
Sanctions take time before they start to have an impact. We saw this in Iran, for example. However, it’s also true that, like North Korea, we need a guarantee of security other than nuclear weapons. Chancellors Brandt and Schmidt of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) created something to that effect in Europe, namely the Conference on Security and Co‑operation in Europe. This is only possible via direct negotiations including with North Korea. Three powers need to get round the negotiating table together: the US, China and Russia.
The US is led by Trump, China is riding roughshod over human rights – and Russia still occupies Crimea...
That’s true. However, Willy Brandt’s SPD policy of détente and disarmament began in the darkest hour of the Cold War – with the Warsaw Pact invasion of Prague in 1968. At the end of the day, Brandt and his successors Schmidt and Kohl won out and the German reunification became a reality. The time is ripe once again for visions and courageous steps.
North Korea, Syria, Yemen – which conflict is giving you the most cause for concern?
As a father of three daughters, I often ask myself whether my children will be fortunate enough, like I was, to grow up in times of peace. If North Korea has its way, then many other countries will follow this example and acquire nuclear weapons for themselves. Then our children will live in a very dangerous world.
Interview conducted by Rolf Kleine