Lavrov Says Nobody Wants War on Korean Peninsula

Lavrov Says Nobody Wants War on Korean PeninsulaLavrov Says Nobody Wants War on Korean Peninsula

Nobody in their right mind would want to start a war on the Korean Peninsula, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, adding that Washington wants to strangle North Korea into submission.

“Not only Russian, but also American experts and American officials voiced the assessments of the consequences [of a potential Korean conflict], including the enormous loss of human life,” Lavrov said on Monday in an interview with RT.

Moscow hopes that there are people in the US who understand the need “to defuse” the tension over North Korea and turn to a political and diplomatic solution, the foreign minister added.

Washington, Lavrov believes, wants to strangle North Korea until it submits. Moscow will not back such an approach and will continue to seek a way to integrate North Korea into the world community, not isolate it. “You can’t strangle North Korea. You can’t impose a total blockade,” he said.

In September, Moscow received a signal from Washington that the US wanted dialogue and that military drills on the Korean Peninsula would be postponed until spring 2018, Lavrov said. However, Washington later announced new military drills in autumn and North Korea responded to them “with a new missile.” The minister was referring to the North’s test of its Hwasong 15 rocket, which Pyongyang claimed to be an intercontinental ballistic missile (IBCM).

“China and Russia proposed to have a double freeze plan [on North Korea]. North Korea won’t launch anything and test anything and the US won’t hold drills. But the US responded that it’s legitimate to have military exercises,” Lavrov said. The first step forward should be taken by the side which is stronger and smarter, the Russian diplomat noted.

“Together with China we believe that all these mutually-provocative actions need to be frozen. Dialogue must be started without any precondition,” he added.

  China Calls for Constructive Efforts

Echoing that view, China called on Monday for all countries to make constructive efforts to ease tension after North Korea said the latest UN sanctions against it are an act of war and tantamount to a complete economic blockade, Reuter reported.

Speaking in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the resolution appropriately strengthened the sanctions but was not designed to affect ordinary people, normal economic exchanges and cooperation, or humanitarian aid.

Hua noted it also called for the use of peaceful means to resolve the issue and that all sides should take steps to reduce tension.

North Korea said on Sunday that it is a “pipe dream” for the United States to think it will give up its nuclear weapons.


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