Germany's foreign minister arrives in Japan
20 February 2006, TOKYO - German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier arrived Monday in Japan where he is due to meet with his Japanese counterpart Taro Aso and Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi among others.
20 February 2006
TOKYO - German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier arrived Monday in Japan where he is due to meet with his Japanese counterpart Taro Aso and Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi among others.
On Steinmeier's agenda will be the expansion of the Security Council in a reformed United Nations. Japan has recently deviated from the stand taken by fellow G4 group members Germany, India and Brazil to obtain a permanent seat on the Security Council.
Speaking in Seoul earlier Monday after meeting with South Korean President Roh Moo Hyun, Steinmeier said South Korea was realistic over the prospects of reunification on the divided Korean peninsula.
Seoul knows that North and South Korea won't be "reunified in the next 14 days" said Steinmeier on a three-nation Asia tour that will also take him to China on Wednesday and Thursday.
Comparing the two countries' divided history, Steinmeier and Roh discussed the economic process of integration. Many South Koreans fear the tremendous costs of bringing the impoverished North Korea up to modern standards.
Germany re-unified in 1990, a year after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.
On Sunday, Steinmeier visited the Demilitarized Zone that cuts across the Korean peninsula dividing North and South Korea with his counterpart Ban Ki-Moon.
The two foreign ministers on Sunday called on North Korea to return to negotiations to resume the six-party talks over the dispute over their nuclear programme.
It is "common understanding that it is important that the international community strive for the resolution of the North Korea nuclear issue and the opening and reform of North Korea," Steinmeier said.
Peace and stability on the Korean peninsula are closely linked with international security issues, he added.
The two-day visit is the first by a German foreign minister to South Korea since 2000.
Accompanied by an economic delegation, Steinmeier will head for China on Wednesday for a two-day visit.
Subject: German news