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Russian diplomat says use of military force against North Korean unacceptable, dangerous

April 28, 18:45 UTC+3

"The maximum use of diplomatic tools is preferable," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov stressed

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© AP Photo/Wong Maye-E

UNITED NATIONS, April 28. /TASS/. The use of military force to solve the North Korean issue is absolutely unacceptable as it is fraught with disastrous consequences, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said at a meeting of the UN Security Council.

According to him, North Korea has been acting inappropriately, ignoring the United Nations Security Council’s resolutions which ban it from developing nuclear weapons and their means of delivery. "At the same time, the use of military force is absolutely unacceptable as it is fraught with disastrous consequences for the Korean Peninsula and the entire Northeast Asia," the Russian diplomat added.

"The maximum use of diplomatic tools is preferable," Gatilov stressed. He warned against taking thoughtless steps concerning the North Korean issue as they may lead "to the most terrible consequences."

According to the Russian deputy foreign minister, the global community has been going through "one of the most dramatic stages in relation to the situation on the Korean Peninsula." "It would be no exaggeration to say that the regional peace has been seriously tested recently while the risk still remains that the confrontation will lead to military escalation," Gatilov noted.

He pointed out that "bellicose rhetoric paired with an unreasonable show of muscle makes everyone in the world ask themselves if there is going to be a war." "It is no secret that in the midst of tensions, any thoughtless step may result in terrible consequences," Gatilov said.

Sanctions must not be used to stifle North Korea economically

Gatilov has warned against using sanctions to stifle North Korea economically or to deteriorate the humanitarian situation in that country.

"Sanctions must not be used either to stifle North Korea economically or to deteriorate the humanitarian situation in that country," Gatilov said.

He said he means "illegal unilateral restrictions" imposed by a number of countries as they adversely "impact civilian industries that have nothing to do with the country’s missile and nuclear programs."

According to Gatilov, such measures have seriously impaired living standards of North Korea’s population, which is reflected in United Nations reports.

The Russian diplomat stressed that Russia is committed to the international sanctions against North Korea imposed by the United Nations Security Council. At the same time, he warned that such restrictions "must not be a goal in itself but an instrument to push that country towards constructive talks on the existing problems." "It is impossible to resolve the Korean Peninsula’s nuclear problem by means of sanctions and pressure on Pyongyang only," he underscored.

In the past ten years, the United Nations Security Council has passed six resolutions imposing sanctions on North Korea. They include targeted sanctions against individuals involved in the missile and nuclear programs, economic restrictions, weapons ban, a ban on exporting double use materials and equipment and luxury items to North Korea. North Korea’s authorities however do not recognize the Security Council’s resolutions saying the country has the right to strengthen its defense capabilities on the backdrop of Washington’s hostile policies.

Addressing the United Nations Security Council session, Secretary General Antonio Guterres said a sum of 114 million U.S. dollars will be needed to offer humanitarian assistance to North Korea’s population in 2017. According to UN estimates, about 13 million North Koreans, or about a half of its entire population, are in dire need for humanitarian assistance.

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