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14 Aug, 2017 23:25

‘Korean peninsula on the brink’: US & N. Korean warmongering paradoxically identical – Zakharova

‘Korean peninsula on the brink’: US & N. Korean warmongering paradoxically identical – Zakharova

Washington and Pyongyang are edging closer to conflict with their harsh rhetoric while paying little regard to the potential consequences of such confrontation, Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said in an interview with a Latvian radio station.

“We [the Russian foreign ministry] have already said that the situation is on the brink, but despite this, we hear the rhetoric from Pyongyang, and the statements that come out every day from Washington,” Zakharova told Baltkom.

“The paradox is that they are identical,” she added. “It seems as if all the statements from Pyongyang are being translated into English and are repeated by the US officials.”

The US seems to have forgotten how to solve conflicts through diplomacy, and risks numerous civilian lives should a military conflict erupt, Zakharova said.

“If this scenario is applied, there will be a collapse on a global scale of all the principles of international law, something which has worried Washington so deeply in the past,” she said. “We are talking about the fact that dozens, hundreds of thousands of civilians can perish.”

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It's as if both sides have forgotten the lessons of the Cold War and the risk that nuclear war or attacks against nuclear objects hold, added Zakharova. The catastrophe would be worsened by the fact that the Korean peninsula is surrounded by water, which will make it harder to contain any potential fallout.

“If people do not understand the threat of nuclear weapons in 2017, that this is a threat to the whole world, then what are we talking about? Russia and China have initiated a program to overcome this crisis, there must be a double freezing. The Americans and South Korea freeze their military exercises, which are provocative, and North Korea freezes the tests they are conducting, tests which have been condemned by the UN.”

The Korean peninsula is bordered by the Yellow Sea with China to the west, and the Sea of Japan with Russia and Japan to the east. It follows that all regional countries have an active interest in avoiding an all-out war between North Korea and the United States.

President Donald Trump has taken a harsher stance against North Korea than his predecessor, Barack Obama, with Pyongyang defiantly ignoring UN Security Council rulings against its nuclear weapons program.

The war of words between Washington and Pyongyang took a more serious turn last week, when Trump threatened to unleash “fire and fury” on North Korea if it continued making threats against the United States. Pyongyang responded by saying it was working on a plan to launch a medium-range ballistic missile close to the US territory of Guam, some 3,200km from North Korea.