MOSCOW, August 24. /TASS/. Russia has raised concerns about the situation on the Korean Peninsula, which has escalated in connection with the resumption of joint military drills by the US and the Republic of Korea, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a commentary released on Wednesday.
"We are concerned about the situation unfolding on the Korean Peninsula, which has recently escalated in connection with the resumption of large-scale joint military drills conducted by the US and the Republic of Korea, as well as inflammatory distribution of propaganda materials to North Korea from South Korea," the diplomat pointed out.
According to Zakharova, Moscow considers "such actions, which cause serious concern in Pyongyang, to be counterproductive and dangerous." "We negatively view steps that lead to an escalation of tensions. As a state bordering the Korean Peninsula, Russia is interested in upholding and strengthening lasting peace and stability there, and favors promoting dialogue and normalizing relations between the two Korean states without any interference from outside forces, and [favors] sorting out the problems of the sub-region through peaceful, diplomatic means," the comment noted.
Zakharova also recalled Russian-Chinese initiatives aimed at resolving the situation on the peninsula: the road map and action plan for a comprehensive settlement of the problems of the Korean Peninsula. "We call for the launch of substantive political dialogue on the basis of these documents in order to build a system of peace and security in the sub-region, which will guarantee the legal interests of all the states involved," the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said in a commentary.
South Korea and the United States kicked off a joint drill, Ulchi Freedom Shield, on Monday, which will include field maneuvers for the first time in recent years and not just command drills based on computer simulations.
The drills will run until September 1. The sides are expected to work out a large-scale war scenario: first, the defense of the capital region (Seoul) will be honed in the event of North Korea’s supposed hypothetical aggression, and the second half of the drill will focus on a counterattack. Seoul and Washington have planned 13 field maneuver programs.