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Merkel rejects use of force in North Korea and verbal 'escalation'
[BERLIN] German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Friday that she opposed any use of force to resolve the conflict with North Korea, after President Donald Trump said the US military was "locked and loaded".
"I don't envision a military solution to this conflict but rather consistent work as we've observed at the United Nations Security Council," Ms Merkel told reporters.
"Germany will very intensively take part in the options for resolution that are not military but I consider a verbal escalation to be the wrong response," she said when asked about Trump's latest tweets on North Korea.
Ms Merkel called for "very close cooperation" to defuse tensions in the region "particularly by the United States and China but also South Korea and Japan".
The German government had earlier this week urged both Washington and the nuclear-armed regime in Pyongyang to show "restraint" after they lobbed apocalyptic threats at each other in a mounting war of words.
Berlin expressed the "greatest concern" over the most recent escalation and urged the international community to "thoroughly implement" the latest round of sanctions against North Korea approved by the Security Council.
Mr Trump on Friday ramped up the his already bellicose rhetoric with Kim Jong-Un over North Korea's weapons programme.
"Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!" he tweeted.