Merkel urges Russia, China to restrain North Korea

Last Updated: Wed, Nov 24, 2010 18:30 hrs

Berlin, Nov 24 (DPA) German Chancellor Angela Merkel phoned Seoul Wednesday to condemn this week's North Korean bombardment of a South Korean island and called for China and Russia to restrain Pyongyang.

Aides said she phoned South Korean President Lee Myung Bak to express her condolences over the deaths in the attack, which she sharply condemned. She praised Lee and his government for their response and said Germany felt solidarity with South Koreans.

'Those who have influence over North Korea should use their capacity to contribute to a stabilisation of the situation by restraining North Korea from further provocations,' government spokesman Steffen Seibert quoted Merkel saying.

She told Lee that Germany supported the UN Security Council responding.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Andreas Peschke said Berlin had summoned the North Korean ambassador and informed him of Germany's 'clear' views.

In parliament, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle condemned the artillery attack on Yeonpyeong Island.

Seibert earlier told reporters Berlin wanted North Korea's nuclear research to be completely transparent and its military nuclear programme to be abandoned, he added.

'North Korea must cease further attacks and provocations and it must respect the terms of the armistice agreement,' he said.

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