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  North Korea

  6 Debates

The recent sabre rattling by North Korea and the US is making a military escalation increasingly likely in the eyes of many observers. Commentators assess the threat of war, examine the background story and sound out possibilities for a peaceful solution.

The new sanctions are intended to persuade North Korea to end its nuclear programme. They received an unanimous vote of approval in the UN Security Council last weekend. For many commentators, however, sanctions alone are not enough.

The US has warned that it is prepared to take military action against North Korea if the country doesn't give up its controversial nuclear programme. But a diplomatic solution would be preferred, US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley explained. The US plans to present a resolution on tougher sanctions to the UN Security Council. Europe's press discusses whether this is the right approach.

Pyongyang threatened the US with a pre-emptive strike on Thursday. On the weekend North Korea had carried out a missile test which, however, failed. UN Secretary General António Guterres has called on China, the US, Japan, South Korea and Russia to prevent a North Korean military build-up. How dangerous is this latest escalation?

Pressure on US President Donald Trump is growing after the death of Otto Warmbier. Influential Republicans are demanding a firm response to the American student's death. Warmbier died in his home state of Ohio on Monday, shortly after being evacuated to the US after serving 18 months of a 15-year prison sentence in North Korea. Europe's press is deeply concerned about the diplomatic crisis.

The UN Security Council has threatened Pyongyang with "further significant measures" after North Korea carried out its second nuclear test this year. But neither threats nor stricter sanctions will deter Kim Jong-un, commentators fear - at least not as long as China remains idle.