August 29, 2017 / 1:24 PM / a year ago

Germany condemns North Korea missile test, backs efforts to rein in Pyongyang

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel on Tuesday condemned North Korea’s latest ballistic missile test and said Germany backed U.S. efforts to persuade Pyongyang to return to the negotiating table.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (R) shakes hands with German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel prior to a bilateral meeting, at the State Department, in Washington, U.S., August 29, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Theiler

Gabriel, who is due to meet U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson later Tuesday in Washington, said he was dismayed by North Korea’s “brutal” violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions and international law.

North Korea fired a ballistic missile over Japan’s northern Hokkaido island into the sea early on Tuesday, prompting a warning from U.S. President Donald Trump that “all options are on the table” as the United States considers its response.

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The German minister welcomed calls for an emergency session of the U.N. Security Council to discuss ways to defuse the dangerous standoff with North Korea.

“In this situation, it is all the more necessary that the world community rigorously implement existing sanctions aimed at convincing North Korea to halt its illegal missile and nuclear program,” Gabriel said in a statement released by the foreign ministry.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel last week told reporters that Germany and the European Union “should do more” to find a diplomatic solution to Pyongyang’s confrontation with the United States.

“We cannot simply insist on a diplomatic solution while we sit and do nothing,” she said at an event organized by the business newspaper Handelsblatt.

Reporting by Andrea Shalal, editing by Larry King

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