December 3, 2017 – Fort Russ News – Paul Antonopoulos
MINSK, Belarus – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told the Belarussian television STV on Saturday that Moscow condemns North Korea’s nuclear gamble as US aggression.
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“Condemning Pyongyang’s nuclear missile gambling, we cannot but condemn our American counterparts’ provocative behavior. Unfortunately, they are trying to draw to their side the Japanese and South Koreans who will fall the first victims in case war breaks out on the Korean Peninsula,” Lavrov said.
“In September our American counterparts made it clear that the next major military exercise off the Korean Peninsula had been scheduled for the next spring,” Lavrov said. “There came a hint that amid the current situation, if the pause, which naturally emerged in the US-South Korean drills, had been used by Pyongyang in order not to disturb the placidity, conditions could have been created for some sort of dialogue to start. We said we appreciated the stance and were working with Pyongyang.”
“Then, all of a sudden, two weeks later after the Americans had sent us a signal, they announced extra drills, that is not in the spring but in October and then in November,” he continued. “Now they announced another exercise in December. There is an impression that they had provoked [North Korean leader] Kim Jong-un on purpose so that he could not hold a pause but snapped under their provocations.”
Lavrov pointed out that the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a security alliance of former Soviet states, “abides largely by a unified stance” on the situation on the Korean Peninsula.
“We do not tolerate the DPRK’s nuclear weapon claims [the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or North Korea],” Lavrov said. “All the CSTO members support the resolution of the UN Security Council. We comply with the imposed sanctions.”
Paul Antonopoulos is a Research Fellow at the Center for Syncretic Studies. He has an MA in International Relations and is interested in Great Power Rivalry as well as the International Relations and Political Economy of the Middle East and Latin America.