MOSCOW, January 12. /TASS/. North Korea holds nuclear tests to ward off potential aggressors and make them think about military presence in the region, Head of the Center for Korean Studies at the Institute for the Far East at the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexander Zhebin told TASS on Tuesday.
Pyongyang announced on January 6 that it had successfully tested a hydrogen bomb. This step caused serious concern among many countries while the UN Security Council announced on the same day that it would adopt a resolution with new substantial measures in response to North Korea’s actions.
According to the expert, North Korea does not pursue the goal of attacking anyone but aims "to prevent the scenarios of regime change implemented by the United States and its allies in Iraq and Libya."
"The strength of the United States and North Korea is incomparable. That is why, ‘nuclear escapades’ are intended to frighten off potential aggressors and make them seriously think about Pyongyang’s security concerns," the expert said.
At the same time, such nuclear tests held by North Korea lead to the stronger US military presence in the region, which cannot but cause concern, he added.
"The US and its allies use Pyongyang’s actions to build up military preparations in the Far East," the expert noted.
However, "had it not been the North Korean factor, the US and its allies would have found other pretexts to build up their forces in Northeast Asia and deploy the elements of their global missile shield system there," the expert said.
"Such pretexts can include, in particular, China’s actions in the South China Sea or a dispute between China and Japan over the Senkaku (Diayudao) Islands," the analyst noted.
"The point is that the US continues the cold war practice of creating new bases and bringing them close to the borders of Russia and now China," the expert said, adding that after the successful completion of talks on the Iran nuclear program, the US had not given up its plans to deploy missile shield elements in Europe.
"However, a large-scale conflict on the Korean peninsula can hardly be expected so far," the expert said.
"North Korea is the country that plays the role of a certain security buffer for China. North Korea is within the sphere of China’s vital interests and any encroachment on this sphere means that Americans will face a quarrel with the world’s largest economy and the growing military power. I don’t think that Washington is ready now for such standoff," the expert noted.
Large-scale military actions on the Korean peninsula are impossible without the authorization of the US highest political leadership, he added.
"South Koreans can open fire at some sections of the demilitarized zone as was the case in the past. But they will hardly be allowed at present to take any large-scale action that would lead to an uncontrolled escalation of the conflict," the expert noted.