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Military muscle-flexing on Korean Peninsula to fan regional tensions — Russian lawmaker

The situation on the peninsula has not normalized, the official believes

MOSCOW, July 25. /TASS/. The situation on the Korean Peninsula cannot be called stable, considering North Korea’s latest missile launches in response to US and South Korea’s plans to hold military exercises, Head of the International Affairs Committee in the lower house of Russia’s parliament Leonid Slutsky said on Thursday.

"Up to now, the situation around North Korea cannot be characterized as normalized. The missile launches are Pyongyang’s direct response to the US-South Korea military drills scheduled for August. As is known, neither Washington nor Seoul has given up its plans, despite the negotiating process on the Korean Peninsula’s denuclearization," the senior Russian lawmaker commented.

"Military muscle-flexing only fans tensions in the region," he pointed out.

"All the parties should keep calm and refrain from provoking a possible escalation of tension amid the signs of positive trends in the Korean settlement. And we intend to speak about this, using all the channels and contacts of our inter-parliamentary interaction," Slutsky concluded.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff reported earlier on Thursday that North Korea had launched eastward two short-range missiles that fell into the Sea of Japan. South Korea’s Defense Ministry believes that one missile flew about 690 km and the other 430 km. The South Korean military do not rule out that one of the tested projectiles could be a new development.

None of the missiles launched by North Korea reached Japan’s special economic zone in the Sea of Japan. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stated that North Korea’s new missile launches posed no direct threat to the country’s national security but pledged to keep close contact with the United States and South Korea on this issue.