North Korea 'playing with fire'

2013-04-10 17:06
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle (Picture: AFP)

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle (Picture: AFP)

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Berlin - German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle on Wednesday called on North Korea to stop its "war of rhetoric" and said the isolated communist state was "playing with fire".

South Korean and US forces raised their alert status to "vital threat" on Wednesday ahead of an expected North Korean missile test, with tensions wound tight during a five-day build-up to a key anniversary.

Westerwelle, speaking during a visit by Indian Foreign Minister Salman Kurshid, said: "We share the concern, expressed by many other parties and countries, about the war of rhetoric that has broken out and has been started by the DPRK," referring to North Korea's official name.

"What is happening on the Korean Peninsula is more than just a matter affecting the two countries in question, it is something that can have an effect on the security architecture of the world as a whole," he said.

"And thus it is important for the international community to take a united stance and to exert its influence on Pyongyang to make them put an end to that irresponsible war rhetoric that they have been using of late and that they depart from the path that would lead to war and return to a peaceful approach.

"It's playing with fire, and it has to come to an end."

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