North Atlantic Treaty Organisation goes to emergency session after Trump reportedly gets undiplomatic with Merkel

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Hitting back at Mr Trump's "captive of Russia" comments, Mrs Merkel said afterwards that having experienced life in Soviet-controlled former East Germany, she was glad her country could now "determine our own policies and make our own decisions". Says Stoltenberg: "We have agreed that we're committed to the pledge increasing defence spending to 2 percent".

Though the insult will hardly engender warmth from German chancellor Angela Merkel, who Trump is due to meet later today, German defense minister Ursula von der Leyen seemed relatively unperturbed.

"We call upon [North Korea] to fully implement its worldwide obligations; to eliminate its nuclear, chemical, and biological warfare capabilities and ballistic missiles, and abandon all related programmes", the statement said.

He also said he thought spending of 4 percent on defence - similar to the USA level - would be the right level.

Stoltenberg acknowledged that Trump had expressed himself in "very direct language" but insisted that away from the fiery rhetoric the allies all agree on fundamental issues: the need to boost NATO's resilience, fight terror and share the cost of defence more equally.

Trump told North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders that if they did not meet their defense spending targets of 2 percent of gross domestic product by January, the United States would go it alone, according to two officials briefed on the meeting.

Also present was France's President Emmanuel Macron, who tried this year to charm Mr Trump into more harmonious transatlantic relationship, only to see the USA president withdraw from the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal and impose tariffs on European goods. "And I know that's valued very highly over here and people can disagree strongly and still go out to dinner".

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Trump also singled out Germany over its low-levels of defense spending - it now spends 1.24 percent of its GDP on defense - and renewed his criticism of a controversial gas pipeline deal between Germany and Russian Federation made a day earlier.

Others in the room, including the Lithuanian president whose country is among the most nervous of Russian ambitions, denied a suggestion that Trump had threatened to quit the alliance.

Merkel, speaking through an interpreter, said the meeting was an "opportunity to have an exchange about economic developments. and also the future of our trade relations".

Germany, Europe's biggest economy, spends just 1.24 per cent, compared with 3.5 per cent for the US.

He also said that his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki next week would be the "easiest" of the meetings he'll have while he's overseas.

As well as Merkel, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Charles Michel, the prime minister of Belgium, were singled out by Trump for undershooting on their spending targets when US taxpayers, funding a defence budget worth about 3.6 percent of their national income, foot much of NATO's bills.

'All President Trump is doing is pointing out of hard facts and the hard truth and saying hey look we are going to change this. And it comes just days before Mr. Trump sits down with Putin at the conclusion of his closely watched European trip.

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