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Russian MP says North Korea is bracing for sanctions

A lawmaker believes North Korea will not abandon its nuclear program

MOSCOW, December 1. /TASS/.  North Korea is prepared for sanctions and will not abandon its nuclear program, a senior Russian lawmaker, who is currently on a visit to North Korea, told TASS on Friday.

"They are not scared by sanctions at all, they will not abandon their nuclear program only because of them. As the head of the parliament told us, they are ready to live under those sanctions for a century," said Alexei Chepa, a deputy chairman of the State Duma International Affairs Committee, who is a member of the Russian parliamentary delegation to North Korea.

According to the Russian lawmaker, North Korea is not ready to return to the negotiation process on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula because of the Western policies. "They are perfectly aware of everything making it clear that any sabre rattling, any threats will yield no results," he stressed.

Chepa said that North Korea could cancel its latest missile test, if the United States and South Korea made a step forward in the negotiation process instead of whipping up tensions.

"There were 75 days of lull. If the United States and South Korea had made at least one step towards negotiations, this launch would have probably not taken place. However, the United States has not done anything," the lawmaker told TASS.

He added that, "while North Korea kept silent, the US, on the contrary, was whipping up tensions." "Several cruisers were present in the Sea of Japan, additional exercises were announced, which was perceived as a continuation of the threat from the United States," the parliamentarian stressed.

Chepa added that Russian lawmakers clearly outlined Russia’s stance, which condemned the missile tests. "Our stance condemning this launch was outlined right from the start. We talked about the need for negotiations and a double freeze, the gradual denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, disarmament and an end to all exercises," he noted.

However, according to the Russian lawmaker, the North Korean representatives said in response that the latest test had been conducted "to counter the American threat" and "achieve parity with the US." "All Korean counterparts viewed that as a huge victory for the Korean people, as a big achievement in the economic and military sphere. Today it’s a holiday in North Korea, rallies are being held," Chepa said.

In his view, to bring Pyongyang to the negotiating table in these circumstances "it is necessary to end the policy of intimidation, the policy of provocations" by the United States and South Korea.

A delegation of Russian lawmakers led by its coordinator Kazbek Taisayev paid a visit to Pyongyang at the invitation of the North Korean parliament from November 27 to December 1.