Washington won’t strike N. Korea as it knows Pyongyang has nukes – Lavrov

Washington won’t strike N. Korea as it knows Pyongyang has nukes – Lavrov
The US will not strike North Korea because they not only suspect that Pyongyang possesses nuclear weapons, but know it for sure, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in a TV interview on Sunday.

“Americans won’t strike [North] Korea, because not only do they suspect, but know for sure that Pyongyang has nuclear weapons,” Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with NTV channel.

“Regarding this issue, President [Vladimir] Putin has repeatedly said it was impossible to imagine that the US or someone else has 100 percent information on all of the [nuclear] objects,” he added, as cited by TASS.

“I’m not defending North Korea, I’m just saying that virtually everybody agrees with such analysis,” said the minister, adding that if the US hasn’t considered this assessment yet, then “the situation could spiral out of control, so that thousands, dozens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands innocent people will suffer in South Korea, as well as in the North, certainly in Japan, with Russia and China nearby too,” Lavrov noted.

Lavrov said that most of the people he has spoken to on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session, underway in New York, agree with this logic.

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“The US carried out strikes on Iraq solely because they were 100 percent sure there were no weapons of mass destruction,” Lavrov said, adding that a UN commission had worked there, visiting all the sites in which they were interested in “a quite intrusive way.”

When the commission in Iraq reported that Baghdad had not fulfilled all the demands, “those who took the decision to attack Iraq knew perfectly well that the conclusion was a lie,” Lavrov said.

The foreign minister reprimanded those in charge of the UN inspection, particularly mentioning “one Australian official.” Lavrov was apparently referring to UN Special Commission (UNSCOM) Chairman Richard Butler, who concluded that Iraq failed to cooperate on inspections, thus giving the green light for the US and Britain to launch military campaign ‘Operation Desert Fox.’

Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that pressuring North Korea with sanctions and military threats is “senseless” and “a dead end.”

“They [North Koreans] will eat grass but will not stop their program as long as they do not feel safe,” and remember the fates of Iraq and Libya, he said.

Moscow and Beijing have suggested a ‘double-freeze’ initiative to cool down the Korean crisis, which would involve the North ceasing nuclear tests and missile launches in exchange for the US and South Korea halting joint military drills in the region. However, Washington opposes the plan, saying it is “allowed” to conduct exercises with its allies and “that’s just not going to change.”