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Russian defense official warns against provocations next to North Korean borders

June 05, 14:30 UTC+3 SINGAPORE
"The situation may only aggravate," the deputy defense minister said
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Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov

Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov

© Sergej Karpov/TASS, archive

SINGAPORE, June 5. /TASS/. Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov warned against provocations and emotional actions next to the North Korean border. He made the statement at the Shangri-La Dialogue 15th Asia Security Summit on Sunday.

He said "it is not correct to undertake any emotional actions very close to the DPRK border, do not provoke them."

"The situation may only aggravate," the deputy defense minister said.

At the same time, he said Russia "cannot accept the DPRK’s nuclear missile ambitions."

"We support fully all resolutions of the UN Security Council on this issue."

"Russia will do everything possible to have Pyongyang join the non-proliferation agreement, a country free from nuclear weapons," he said confirming "the Sextet format does not work."

"The only remaining opportunity for us is to continue positive pressure on the government of the DPRK in non-proliferation and on the nuclear program," the official said.

Russia is against excessive military reaction to DPRK’s actions

The situation in the Korean peninsula is a source of serious concern but there should not be any "excessive military reaction" to Pyongyang’s actions, Antonov said.

Russia, in his words, "pursues a consistent policy of defending the non-proliferation regime and of not recognizing the nuclear ambitions of the DPRK."

"At the same time, we stand against the excessive reaction to Pyongyang’s actions and consider it impossible to use the North Korean rocket and missile programs as a pretext for upsetting the military and political balance in the region," Antonov said.

He added that the talk was about creating new areas for deploying the elements of the U.S. global missile defense system.

"Such short-sighted steps can turn around in consequences, which will be destructive for the whole region. All the efforts should be proportionate to the real threats," Antonov said.

The situation in the Korean peninsula aggravated after the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) had conducted a nuclear test on January 6. On February 7, the DPRK launched a carrier rocket with an artificial Earth satellite in violation of the U.N. Security Council decisions. In response, the U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution on toughening sanctions against North Korea.

In February, Seoul and Washington agreed to start official consultations on possible deployment of the US THAAD system for intercepting short-range and medium-range ballistic missiles in the south of the Korean peninsula.

Problems for Russia and for China

The U.S. missile shield causes problems both for Russia and for China, Antonov told.

Moscow "has called on it to stop implementation of the plans, offered many times the cooperation, offered solutions to settle the situation," he said, however "we did not manage to persuade them to continue the dialogue on the matter, and as far as I understand, now is not the best time for them to have consultations."

"Russia has never claimed to be against any anti-missile programs, every country has the right to work on any weapons, of course, with the exception for the nuclear, chemical or biological weapons," the deputy defense minister said. "However, it is most dangerous, where one country provides its security at expense of security of others.".

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