In a statement Tuesday, Russia warned the United States against strengthening sanctions against North Korea. The opinion of Russia is that such a move could be both counterproductive and extremely dangerous. This opinion comes even after Kim Jong Un’s rogue regime vowed to test launch more intercontinental ballistic missiles despite condemnation from around the world.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov weighed in on the matter during a Wednesday telephone conversation with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. The conversation focused a great deal on North Korea, and in that conversation, Lavrov stressed Russia believed imposing more sanctions to pressure Pyongyang, which is the capital of North Korea, to end its missile program would be going against what is in the best interest of the U.S.
Lavrov also said the U.S. taking military action against the regime could cause “unpredictable consequences.”
Kim Jong Un’s regime was apparently so angered by the joint military exercises conducted by the U.S. and South Korea earlier this month that they fired a ballistic missile that flew over the Japanese island of Hokkaido before plunging into the northern Pacific Ocean on Tuesday. This came a mere three days after North Korea had launched a trio of missiles from the Kangwon province. None of those missiles came close to doing any damage, but the message was received.
Even worse, the Saturday launch came less than one week after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson praised the country for showing “restraint” in its weapons program.
Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova issued a statement on the tense situation yesterday trying to convince everyone that peace talks were needed.
Ms. Zakharova stated, “The contest of force that is now being demonstrated, will only lead the region to the brink of a military conflict,” before adding, “At the moment only Russia and China have put forward a realistic initiative. Once again we call all the involved sides to urgently start establishing dialogue without preconditions, based on the proposals on the Russian and Chinese road map.”
On Wednesday, via his twitter page, President Trump declared further talks with North Korea were “not the answer” and referred to alleged “extortion” payments made by the U.S. to the regime in the past.
Following the Tuesday incident, a meeting took place between the members of the United Nations Security Council, in which North Korea’s actions were condemned, but no indication was given that the U.N. was prepared to take tougher measures against Pyongyang. The 15 members of the Security Council met for nearly four hours in what was called an “emergency session” to discuss a response to the North Korea sending that ballistic missile over Japan.
They unanimously agreed on a statement condemning that launch, not to mention the three others on Saturday, calling them “not just a threat to the region but all U.N. member states.”
The statement, however, at no point suggested whether the council would further toughen the eight sets of sanctions it has imposed on the North, and it remains unclear what additional action, if any, might be taken.
Recent statements from both U.S. and North Korean leaders have been relatively mild compared to some of the bombastic threats exchanged earlier in the summer.
Trump had previously spoken of raining down “fire and fury” on the communist country less than one month ago if it did not stop threatening the U.S. North Korea responded to that by indicating it intended to attack Guam, which is a U.S. territory home to key U.S. military bases. The President responded to that threat in his customary fashion on social media.
North Korea eventually pulled back its threat to launch the missiles toward Guam, although leader Kim Jong Un called Tuesday’s launch a “meaningful prelude” to eventually containing the U.S. territory.
It remains to be seen whether or not the United States will heed Russia’s warning.
[Featured Image by Adam Berry/Getty Images]