Nato: Reckless behaviour needs global response

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, on Nov 24, 2015.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, on Nov 24, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • North Korea's "reckless behaviour" is a global threat and requires a global response, the head of the Nato military alliance said yesterday.

Nato, or the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, has not been directly involved in the crisis, which saw Pyongyang carry out its sixth and most powerful nuclear test a week ago, but has repeatedly called on North Korea to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

"The reckless behaviour of North Korea is a global threat and requires a global response and that, of course, also includes Nato," the alliance's head, Mr Jens Stoltenberg, said in an interview with BBC television.

British Defence Minister Michael Fallon also told the BBC he was very concerned about the situation. "We are doing now what we can to bring about a diplomatic solution. What we have to avoid at all costs is this spilling over into any kind of military conflict," he said. "The US is fully entitled to defend its own territory, to defend its bases and to look after its people, but this involves us. London is closer to North Korea and its missiles than Los Angeles."

In an interview published yesterday, United Nations Secretary- General Antonio Guterres said the showdown over North Korea's nuclear and missile programme had left him deeply worried. "We have to hope that the seriousness of this threat puts us on the path of reason before it is too late," he said.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany would lend its weight to a diplomatic push to end the North Korean crisis along the lines of a past deal with Iran.

Talks between Iran and six world powers, sealed with a 2015 deal for Tehran to roll back its nuclear programme and submit to inspections in exchange for some sanctions being rolled back, were "a long but important period of diplomacy" that had achieved a "good end", she said.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 11, 2017, with the headline 'Nato: Reckless behaviour needs global response'. Print Edition | Subscribe