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War of words leads to rising US-North Korean tensions — Russian expert

On September 3, US President Donald Trump said that he was considering "stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea"

MOSCOW, September 4. /TASS/. The current tensions between Washington and Pyongyang mark the active phase of the so-called war of words, head of the Center for Asian and Asian-Pacific Studies at Russia’s Institute for Strategic Studies Konstantin Kokarev told TASS on Monday.

"Radical ways to resolve the North Korean issue, including possible strikes on the country and its elimination, which are currently under consideration in the United States, are a continuation of the war of words, only in a more acute form," he said.

According to the expert, the US should "take into account the position of North Korea’s neighboring states, first and foremost, China and South Korea, as they will have to face a catastrophe in case such decisions are implemented. At the same time, Kokarev stressed that "China, as well as Russia, is concerned over the deployment of the US THAAD anti-ballistic missile defense system to the Korean Peninsula, as it will not serve to ease tensions."

The Russian expert added that strong statements made by some countries’ leaders also did not help resolve the situation surrounding North Korea. "The statements that various countries’ leaders have been making should be assessed carefully, as well as the comments on those statements, for they do not facilitate the search for a solution to the issue," Kokarev noted.

He pointed out that Washington should reduce its bellicose rhetoric. "The ball is in the US court at the moment - Washington should understand that there is a need to stop the further escalation of the situation in the region, which particularly refers to large-scale military drills," Kokarev said.

North Korea’s trade partners

On September 3, while commenting on the recent nuclear test conducted by Pyongyang, US President Donald Trump said that he was considering "stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea." In Kokarev’s opinion, should the US attempt to stop trad with China, its main partner, the Americans will face disastrous consequences.

"China accounts for roughly 90% of North Korea’s trade," he pointed out. "But the United States very much depends on China, their trade is huge, as is the US trade deficit. This is why any trade sanctions that Washington may impose on Beijing would bring disastrous consequences for the US - the country may even lose its economic independence," the Russian expert concluded.