Mr Maas, should US President Donald Trump be praised for defusing the North Korean conflict?
Trump’s reaction to the G7 summit dealt a bitter blow to confidence among his Western partners. There’s no denying that. But nor can we deny that the newly launched process of de-escalation on the Korean peninsula is a positive development and a step in the right direction. It remains to be seen if it will lead to a genuine process resulting in the denuclearisation of North Korea.
What do you expect now?
Things will depend crucially on whether and how, in the coming weeks, North Korea and the United States implement the declaration of intent signed in Singapore. In this context, it is up to Pyongyang to follow its words with tangible deeds and to take corresponding practical and verifiable steps. The photoshots at the summit are not the be all and end all. The ultimate goal is the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of North Korea. Kim Jong-un must be willing to realise that goal if he wants to lead his country back into the fold of the international community.
What can Germany and Europe do to contribute to the success of the peace process?
First of all, we have to wait and see if North Korea really is willing to give up its nuclear weapons as part of a substantive peace process. The international community has been disappointed by Pyongyang many times in the past.
Europe has shown how erstwhile enemies can become best friends. However, a genuine commitment to peace and international cooperation is a prerequisite.
Interview conducted by Jochen Gaugele