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Expert comments on US-North Korea conflict

August 15, 16:09 UTC+3 MOSCOW

An expert believes the dispute between US President Donald Trump and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un is unlikely to dissolve into a full-fledged armed conflict

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© AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin

MOSCOW, August 15. /TASS/. A dispute between US President Donald Trump and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un is unlikely to dissolve into a full-fledged armed conflict, CEO of the National Committee for BRICS Research and Director of the Center for Russian Strategy in Asia of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Economy, Georgy Toloraya, said in a conversation with a TASS reporter on Tuesday.

"What is going on between North Korea and the US is a psychological and information attack. You see, everyone is used to loud statements from North Koreans, and their threats to turn everyone into a nuclear ash do not surprise anyone anymore," he said. "However, when President Trump started assimilating to this rhetoric, everyone got tense, especially after Obama’s usual policy of strategic patience. Still, this is now just a dispute between two politicians with a similar disposition."

According to the expert, the joint statement by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis published in The Wall Street Journal on Sunday demonstrates the intention for talks, "though not the most explicit one", "which should be given attention to, as the most important thing today is to observe the agreement on a double freeze to avoid further escalation of tension in the region." The expert also stressed that "it is important for both countries to start a dialogue, though the bilateral [dialogue] may not be constructive, as there will be no guarantees of the agreements’ implementation." So, Toloraya explained, it is necessary that all interested countries should sit down for talks and, first of all, return to the issue of North Korea’s nuclear program suspension.

"As for the threats of attacks on Guam, these are idle threats, to my mind, as North Korea does not have the needed military power to stand against the US, and this move might lead to its total annihilation," the expert noted. Still, he did not rule out the possibility of making pinpoint strikes. "It is possible, of course, that the US shoots down the North Korean missile during the launch, for example, or some of the sides sink the other’s vessel, and this will become a dead line then, an appeal to finally sit down for talks," the Eastern scholar explained.

According to Toloraya, the main task facing the Pyongyang regime is to unite two Koreas and, in case North Korea continues expanding its potential and advances to Seoul, the United States will hardly interfere, because, as de Gaulle said, "the US won’t sacrifice Los Angeles or New York for Seoul," and by the time North Korea becomes capable of attacking South Korea they may as well have intercontinental delivery systems.

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