Amid rising tensions in the Korean Peninsula over Kim Jong-un’s nuclear program and fears that U.S. President Donald Trump is contemplating launching an attack against North Korea, President Vladimir Putin of Russia has reportedly ordered the movement of troops and equipment to his country’s southeast border with the country. The reported move comes after neighboring China sent about 150,000 troops to its southern border with North Korea, reportedly over fears that a U.S. attack on North Korea could spark a refugee crisis.
Both Russia and China reportedly fear that an outbreak of war in North Korea could spill over into their countries by triggering a wave of refugees seeking to cross the borders.
Footage has emerged online purporting to show evidence that the Russian military is beefing up its presence along Russia’s 11-mile southeast border with North Korea. The footage appears to show Russian military personnel reinforcing Russia’s border with North Korea by moving military hardware to the area in preparation for a situation where Trump decides to launch an attack on North Korea in response to the Kim Jong-un’s defiant stance against warnings to halt his regime’s ambitious nuclear program.
Part of the footage appears to show a train moving armored vehicles to the country’s southeast border with North Korea. The video shows trains loaded with military equipment allegedly traveling toward the country’s southeast border with North Korea. Another footage appears to show helicopters hovering in the air and military vehicles traveling over rugged terrain.
According to the Russian authorities, the movement of troops and equipment was part of “preventive but necessary” measures.
“Railway trains loaded with military equipment moving towards Primorsky region via Khabarovsk have been noticed by locals,” the Russian website Primemedia.ru said in a commentary on the video clip showing trains moving armored vehicles and tanks reportedly toward Russia’s border with North Korea.
The website’s report claimed that the movement of troops and equipment was linked to the crisis in the Korean Peninsula after Trump threatened to deal with the North Korean problem alone.
“The movement of military equipment by different means of transport to southern areas is being observed across Primorsky region over the past week,” military analyst Stanislva Sinitsyn said, according to the Daily Mail.
“Many relate this to the situation in the Korean peninsula,” he said. “The video shows artillery systems that either support troops in assault or meet the aggressor.”
“The movement of military equipment means that authorities of our country are keeping up with the situation – and taking appropriate measures,” he continued.
“It is not the first time that North Korea has broken the peace in the region, that’s why this situation deserves attention.”
The Russian authorities warned that an attack against Korea could spark a wave of refugees seeking to cross the border into Russia. They also warned that a missile strike by U.S. against North Korea’s nuclear facilities could spread contamination over wide areas in the Korean Peninsula, China and Russia.
“Should the US strike with missiles at North Korea’s nuclear facilities, a radioactive cloud will reach Vladivostok within two hours,” warned Konstantin Asmolov, an expert from the Russian Far Eastern Institute.
But Alexander Gordeyev, a spokesperson for the Russian military, declined to explain the reason behind the troop movement. He only acknowledged that a military exercise was also conducted in the Siberian region of TransBaikal recently.
Meanwhile, North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, breathing defiance from Pyongyang, has threatened “a super-mighty preemptive strike” if the U.S. tries to attack North Korea.
The North Korean regime celebrated the Day of the Sun last Saturday, with the country’s military conducting a massive parade in Pyongyang. The parade involved thousands of enthusiastic troops and display of a stunning array of missiles.
However, some critics of the North Korean regime insisted that some of the missiles on parade were only models. Moreover, as if to confirm the claims, a missile test by the regime on Sunday failed spectacularly. The missile reportedly exploded immediately after launch.
On Wednesday, Russia blocked a UN Security Council statement that condemned North Korea’s missile test and called on the country’s leader to stop further nuclear tests. However, China backed the statement.
Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov, explained that Russia blocked the condemnation because it wanted the statement to include a commitment to resolving the crisis through dialogue and diplomatic means.
“Unfortunately, we have to admit that the risk of a serious conflict in this region has substantially increased,” Ryabkov said, urging responsibility in the handling of the crisis to prevent escalation.
[Featured Image by Alexei Druzhinin/AP Images]