A Russian diplomat has warned of an “apocalyptic” scenario on the Korean Peninsula amid rising tensions between North Korea and other East Asian countries.
“A scenario of the apocalyptic development of the situation on the Korean Peninsula exists and we cannot turn our blind eye to it,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov said on Monday, Nov. 27 according to the Russian state-run TASS news agency. He delivered his remarks in Seoul, South Korea.
“I hope that a common sense, pragmatism and an instinct of self-preservation would prevail among our partners to exclude such negative scenario,” he added.
Tensions have increased as North Korea actively tries to develop a nuclear weapon and long-range missile launching capabilities capable of striking the United States. On Sept. 3, North Korea claimed it successfully tested a hydrogen bomb, and earlier this year, it launched two missiles over Japanese territory.
Russian deputy FM Morgulov: "Russian MOFA is in constant contact with US State Department over N.Korea."https://t.co/7hPVCuqqhX
— Artyom Lukin (@ArtyomLukin) November 26, 2017
“We have told North Korea many times that for us, [its] nuclear status is unacceptable,” the diplomat added. “We continue this work with the North Korean counterparts presenting to them our position.”
The Trump administration has called on neighboring China to put pressure on Pyongyang over its nuclear program, and in September, China agreed to United Nations sanctions against its rogue neighbor. There are signs that the sanctions are working.
Earlier this year, Trump mocked North Korea’s Kim Jong Un as “rocket man” for his missile tests, and threatened “fire and fury” if he continues his provocations.
“The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea,” Trump told the United Nations in September. “Rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and his regime.”
Shortly after his speech to the U.N., the office of South Korean President Moon Jae-in said in a statement: “We view the speech as portraying a firm and specific stance on the key issues regarding keeping peace and safety that the international community and the United Nations are faced with.”
“It clearly showed how seriously the United States government views North Korea’s nuclear program as the president spent an unusual amount of time discussing the issue,” the presidential Blue House’s statement said, Reuters reported.
U.S. ally Japan, which Pyongyang often threatens to destroy, has taken a consistently hard line on North Korea, pushing for increased sanctions and pressure.
“We greatly appreciate President Trump’s approach to changing North Korea’s policy stance, denuclearizing the country and calling on the international community, including China and Russia, for their cooperation toward strengthening pressure on North Korea,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters in mid-September.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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