North Korea standoff on ‘brink of large-scale conflict: Russian President Vladimir Putin


Russian President (Photo by AFP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has advised the United States and its Asian allies against going down the “dead-end road” of pressuring North , urging dialog instead to end a dispute over the North Korean weapons programs.
In an article, which was released by the Kremlin, Putin wrote that “the policy of putting pressure on Pyongyang to stop its nuclear missile program is misguided and futile.”
“The region’s problems should only be settled through a direct dialog of all the parties concerned without any preconditions. Provocations, pressure and militarist and insulting rhetoric are a dead-end road,” Putin wrote.
The Russian president further described the situation on the Korean Peninsula as “balancing on the brink of a large-scale conflict.”
He said and China “have created a roadmap for a settlement on the Korean Peninsula that is designed to promote the gradual easing of tensions and the creation of a mechanism for lasting peace and security.”
He said the roadmap ruled out threats or any use of force and envisaged a complex political and diplomatic solution to all problems on the peninsula.

Bombs hit a mock target at a shooting range in Gangwon Province, east of Seoul, during a joint South Korean-US military drill on August 31, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

The Russian president’s comments were published only hours after South Korea and the US wrapped up a military drill — which simulated a surgical strike on key enemy facilities — on the Korean Peninsula.
The commander of the US Pacific Air Forces, Terrence O’Shaughnessy, said in a statement that the drill had been a “direct response to ’s intermediate-range ballistic missile launch.”
“North Korea’s actions are a threat to our allies, partners and homeland, and their destabilizing actions will be met accordingly,” he said.
North Korea harshly denounced the drill as a “rash act,” saying that the “wild military acts of the enemies” were aimed at countering Pyongyang’s ballistic missile launches and nuclear weapons development, according to the North’s official KCNA agency.

North Korea’s intermediate-range ballistic missile Hwasong-12 lifts off from the launching pad at an undisclosed location near Pyongyang, August 30, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Pyongyang has been test-firing missiles at a rapid clip this year. It conducted its latest ballistic missile test on Monday.
That test involved a Hwasong-12 missile — believed to be capable of carrying a nuclear payload — that traveled nearly 2,700 kilometers into the Pacific, including over northern Japan.
‘Fight against terrorism must continue in Syria’
In his article, Putin also weighed in on the Syrian conflict, saying that the fight against terrorism in Syria and other countries had to continue.
He said efforts by Russia and other countries helping the Syrian government in its anti-terror fight had provided the foundation for peace in the Arab country.
“Thanks to the efforts of Russia and other concerned countries, conditions have been created to improve the situation in Syria. We have delivered a powerful blow to the terrorists and laid the groundwork for launching the movement towards a political settlement and the return of the Syrian people to peace,” Putin said.

Russian Army forces distribute medical aid and vaccines to hospitals for displaced Syrians on the outskirts of the northern city of Aleppo, March 1, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Russia launched an aerial campaign in Syria on a request from the Syrian government in September 2015.
Russian airstrikes have helped Syrian forces carry out effective counter-terrorism operations against the foreign-backed militant and terrorist groups that have been operating in Syria since 2011.

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