a private tour of Sigmar Gabriel looks like. Shortly after his arrival in the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, the SPD member of the Bundestag receiving one of the most important foreign policy of the totalitarian state: Ri Su Yong, Chairman of the foreign Affairs Committee of the Supreme people’s Assembly.

a Short time later, the North Korea reports niche news Agency KCNA: “The Supreme leader Kim Jong Un received a gift from Sigmar, Hartmut Gabriel, the former Chairman of the social democratic party, member of the German Bundestag and the DPRK (democratic people’s Republic of Korea) visited.” The gift had taken the Ri representative. What it is, does not reveal the state Agency.

If Gabriel has also – as otherwise, in the case of the first foreign politicians to visit in North Korea, is usual right after his arrival, a wreath on the 20 – Meter-high bronze statues of the North Korean God-like revered founder of the state Kim Il-Sung and his son and successor, Kim Jong Il, is not known. After a “private” trip like Gabriel had before his departure, it looks like all but one way or the other.

Sigmar Gabriel, justified with Donald Trump

in Order to justify his journey, Gabriel, of all people, US President, Donald Trump. “After Donald Trump has met twice with the dictator there, I think, you can have a look,” he said last week. He wanted to “weather conditions” in a country in a Situation that “is not so completely away from the German division”.

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Gabriel has been interested as foreign Minister of Korea. He wanted to visit at least once from the South side of the demilitarized Zone to the border of the divided country. The trip was already planned, then the From came as foreign Minister.

Now Gabriel is one of the most prominent politicians of the Federal Republic of Germany, has visited the North Korea. Had during the Cold war, the GDR, although a close relationship to the Communist country, the Federal Republic of Germany, but no diplomatic relations. All of that changed in 2001. Since then, members of Parliament, although to the North Korea, traveled, but never has a former foreign Minister, Vice-Chancellor and the Chairman of a party in government.

The 59-Year-old has organised the week-long trip, which ends on Saturday, on their own. The foreign office, he applied for it private, that’s why he is not cared for by the German Embassy.

Gabriel “not in the job of the Federal government” in North Korea

In the Ministry of the unusual trip is Gabriel’s skeptical seen. Minister Heiko Maas is not to elicit more than the sentence to: “The task of every member of himself to what he does and what he does not.” A spokesman for the foreign office said on Monday that Gabriel “is not in the job of the Federal government,” according to North Korea travel. You don’t know the specific program. “However, we have forwarded to the office of Mr. Gabriel, travel and safety advice for North Korea.” This could be understand as an encrypted message. Because the first sentence of this evidence is “not required to travel to the democratic people’s Republic of North Korea is not advised.”

The hard-line stance of the Federal government toward North Korea, such a trip does not fit in any case. She continues despite relaxation policy Trumps on penalties to reach the goal of a setting of the nuclear programme of the Communist country. “We see that the results are already there. And that is why it is important to loosen the sanctions against North Korea in any way,” says Maas. “The pressure must remain high.”

Germany’s potential in the communication with North Korea

Gabriel but also receives support. The Chairman of the German-Korean parliamentary group, the CDU-politician Katharina Landgraf, the action of Gabriel. “We need to talk to North Korea and you should take all possibilities in to claim that offer,” she says. Also, Landgraf wants to Korea in may with its parliamentary group to the North.

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The CSU-politician Hartmut Koschyk, has visited the largely closed country since 2002 about 15 Times and knows it so well, like no other German politician, pleads for dialogue. “The members of Parliament travel is important so that Germany takes place in the subject at all,” says the Chairman of the German-Korean forum, in which specialists take care of the promotion of relations with both Korean States.

According to Koschyks Germany has given good diplomatic contacts with Pyongyang has the potential to play a greater role in the search for a solution to the nuclear arming of North Korea. He refers to the fact that the American-North have been Korean talks on the preparation of the summit of Trump and Kim in Vietnam Hanoi in the Swedish capital of Stockholm. “In the past, Germany would have been host to such discussions”, says rollingstone. “This shows how the role of Germany in the matter of North Korea has shifted.”

fin / Michael Fischer and Dirk Godder DPA /