“While condemning Pyongyang’s nuclear missile adventurism, we cannot but condemn the provocative behavior of our American colleagues,” Lavrov said in an interview with Belarusian broadcaster STV. “Unfortunately, they are trying to drag the Japanese and South Koreans in the same direction, who… will be the first victims in the event of war on the Korean Peninsula.”
Earlier this week, North Korea carried out its first missile test in two months, firing an ICBM that allegedly can reach the US mainland. The US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, reacted to the test by urging more sanctions against Pyongyang and threatening that “if war comes… the North Korean regime will be utterly destroyed.”
Lavrov reiterated that in September, the US made it clear that the next military exercises with South Korea were not to come until spring. Russia appreciated that and made efforts to work with Pyongyang to turn the lull into more lasting stability.
“There was a hint that in this situation, that this natural pause in the US-South Korean exercises could have been used by Pyongyang to avoid disturbing peace, as well, and conditions could be created for starting a dialogue,” the foreign minister said. Instead, the US suddenly announced it would be holding the drills in October, then November, then December. That, according to Lavrov, was probably what provoked Pyongyang.
“There’s a feeling that [the US was] intentionally provoking [North Korea’s] Kim Jong-un to break that pause, to fall for their provocation,” he said. read more…