News / Europe

North Korea, Syria Top Concerns for G8 Meeting

South Korean soldiers of an artillery unit take part in an artillery drill with 155mm Towed Howitzers as part of the annual joint military exercise "Foal Eagle" by the U.S. and South Korea, near the demilitarized zone (DMZ).
South Korean soldiers of an artillery unit take part in an artillery drill with 155mm Towed Howitzers as part of the annual joint military exercise "Foal Eagle" by the U.S. and South Korea, near the demilitarized zone (DMZ).
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
There are growing calls for the Group of Eight (G8) to send a strong, united message to North Korea.

G8 foreign ministers are set to meet tomorrow in London to discuss tensions on the Korean peninsula, as well as the situation in Syria and Iran.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle on Tuesday called on the regime in Pyongyang to put an end to its saber-rattling.

"We urge them that they de-escalate, that they understand that this war rhetoric has to end," he said.

Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, who met with his German counterpart in the Netherlands, called for the G8 to take stern action.

"Concerning North Korea and their series of acts - such as launching of missiles, conducting nuclear tests and also uttering provocative words - constitute a serious provocation to not only our country and neighboring countries, but to the international community as a whole,'' said Japan's foreign minister.

"In the face of such words and deeds by North Korea, we as government of Japan, we will first endeavor to gather information and analyze that information and make thorough preparations for any unexpected or unforeseen contingencies, so that we can establish measures to ensure and protect safety and security of our citizens," he added.

Meanwhile, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman told the state-run RIA news agency Moscow shares those concerns and rejects what it called North Korea's "provocative and bellicose line of conduct."

The G8 brings together the United States, Britain, Russia, Japan, Canada, France, Germany and Italy.

North Korea's rhetoric also prompted warnings from United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in Rome for a meeting with Pope Francis.

"If any small incident caused by miscalculation or misjudgment, it may create an uncontrollable situation," said the U.N. chief. "That is why I have been urging the DRPK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] authorities to refrain from this provocative rhetoric and I have been urging the countries concerned in and around the Korean peninsula to exercise their influences to North Korea.''

There is also growing concern on the part of China, where officials are keeping a watchful eye on the country's border with North Korea.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Beijing does not want to see "war or chaos" on its doorstep. He said, "We believe that the situation on the Korean peninsula at present is very complex and sensitive. China opposes any side taking actions to worsen tensions and opposes any side doing anything to harm peace and stability on the peninsula.''

The G8 foreign ministers meeting is expected to wrap up on Thursday.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said he also plans to meet with members of the Syrian opposition during the two-day conference.

You May Like

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid