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Russian envoy says US saber-rattling stokes tensions on Korean Peninsula

September 04, 11:20 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Trutnev believes "there would have been no conflict at all if the United States stopped maintaining the conflict"

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© AP Photo/Lee Jin-man

MOSCOW, September 4. /TASS/. The situation surrounding North Korea would be calmer if Washington stopped its continuous saber-rattling, Russian Deputy Prime Minister and Presidential Envoy for the Far East Yuri Trutnev said in an interview with TASS.

"My personal opinion is that there would have been no conflict at all if the United States had put an end to continuing the conflict," he said. "Every time North and South Korea seem to be close to coming to terms with tensions starting to ease up, some naval drills immediately begin that even stipulate a training plan aimed at seizing Pyongyang, which is a direct provocation," Truntnev pointed out.

He also said that "the United States is a large country who constantly rattles its saber in close vicinity [to North Korea]." "What kind of response can North Korea give? They express their readiness to use the weapons that they have, because they understand what will happen the day after someone takes Pyongyang," the Russian deputy prime minister noted. "They can see perfectly well what happened to other countries, so their behavior is understandable," Trutnev added.

He was confident that "certain politicians should calm down a little, and the situation will calm down, too." According to Trutnev, North Korea "would only be glad" to address the development of its economy in order to improve the living standards of the nation’s people. "I am sure that is what they would be doing if they were not constantly being intimidated," he noted.

At the same time, the Russian presidential envoy did not rule out the possibility that "after the recent change in the South Korean leadership, some improvements will be seen." Russian President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to hold a meeting with his South Korean counterpart on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum, Trutnev said adding that the parties were mainly expected "to discuss relations with North Korea."

Trutnev, who is a co-chair of the Russian-South Korean commission on trade and economic cooperation, also said that the commission had not been demonstrating any effective endeavors in the recent years. "However, now they are expressing interest in continuing work so I hope that we will be able to contribute to the improvement of economic ties. Our trilateral ties with North and South Korea are worth considering in this connection, and I will be happy to work on the issue," he added.

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