Russian FM warns of risk of DPRK-U.S. military confrontation
11 Aug 2017, 21:18 ( 6 Months ago)
The risk of a military conflict between the United States and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is very high, but Russia hopes common sense will prevail, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday.
"The risks are very high, especially given the rhetoric. There are direct threats to use force," Lavrov said, speaking at a youth forum in the Vladimir region, Central Russia.
He referred to the recent exchange of threats between Washington and Pyongyang.
According to a report by the Korean Central News Agency on Thursday, the DPRK said it would prepare a plan by mid-August to strike the U.S. territory of Guam with intermediate missiles.
On Tuesday, Trump issued a controversial warning to the DPRK, saying that threats from the country would be met with "fire and fury like the world has never seen."
Russia was worried about these developments, Lavrov said.
"Unfortunately, rhetoric in Washington and in Pyongyang begins to go off scale. We still expect common sense to prevail," he said.
Lavrov recalled that Russia and China had made a number of proposals aimed at preventing a deep-seated conflict.
This includes the "double suspension" plan, under which Pyongyang should stop all nuclear tests and launches of ballistic missiles, while the United States and South Korea should refrain from large-scale military drills, which the DPRK uses as a pretext for testing, he said.
He added that Russia was against the DPRK possessing nuclear weapons.
"We do not accept nuclear North Korea (DPRK)," Lavrov said.
He also suggested that Washington should initiate a peaceful settlement.
"I think that when it comes to a fight, it is the one who is stronger and smarter that should probably be the first to take a step back from the dangerous line," Lavrov said.
Lavrov said that Moscow believed there was no alternative to the resumption of the six-party talks involving the United States, DPRK, South Korea, China, Russia and Japan to reach a peaceful settlement on the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula.