Russian Senator Franz Klintsevich went on record Wednesday with his concern over the rapidly escalating war of words between Donald Trump’s administration and Kim Jong-un’s regime. Klintsevich warned that U.S. President Donald Trump is nearing an “extremely dangerous” point with respect to North Korea and an escalation could lead to “devastating consequences, not only for North Korea but for the whole of human civilization.”
Pyongyang’s nuclear arms program is mainly what has led to the rising crisis on the Korean peninsula and Russia’s stance on the matter has largely been neutral. While Moscow has made it clear that it opposes North Korea’s desire to acquire nuclear arms, officials in parliament and government have repeatedly pointed the blame for the escalation at the way Trump’s administration has chosen to handle the situation, while leaving the North Korean regime that has tested missiles and detonated nuclear fissile material this summer largely blameless.
In his statement Wednesday, Russian Senator Franz Klintsevich along with the deputy head of the Defense and Security Committee warned that a new Korean war would change the world unpredictably.
“The opening of Pandora’s box will make the inconceivable become conceivable,” he said, according to the Russian parliament’s official newspaper.
Klintsevich backed what Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had previously stated, which was that North Korea will not strike the U.S. first, despite threats from Pyongyang that it is seeking to improve its capabilities to put the U.S. within range. The belief among the Russians is also that Trump will not initiate any kind of war with North Korea because Pyongyang can hit back, unlike Iraq.
On top of that, the Russian senator is taking into consideration the direct impact an attack to North Korea will have on his own country, seeing as how they border each other as Klintsevich further stated.
“It would not be amiss to warn the U.S. that any attempt to start a war in unprecedented proximity to Russia’s borders, threatens her safety and will then be evaluated by us as openly adversarial actions with regards to our country bringing all consequences that come with that.”
The lawmaker did not speculate how close combat needed to be to North Korea’s short border with Russia’s Primorye region for Moscow to call in the troops in any capacity, nor did he clarify what “consequences” he meant.
Despite being one of only three territorial neighbors of North Korea, Russia does not have a pact of mutual defense with North Korea.
Russian forces have carried out a handful of joint military events this year, in preparation of what may come from a U.S./North Korea conflict. Most recently, the Russian army completed a joint naval drill in the Asia Pacific region. On Tuesday, Moscow announced its Air Force in the border region with North Korea will practice air-to-ground bombing.
Klintsevich’s colleague in the Senate and former head of the defense committee, Viktor Ozerov, stated Russia’s air defenses in the region are on high alert, though stressed this is strictly to defend Russian territory should a conflict erupt and risk spilling over.
Both Russia and neighboring China have opposed sanctions and war as possible solutions to the crisis and have continued to reiterate their idea of peace talks between North Korea and the United States being the best way to diffuse the situation.
Trump, however, has made it clear that, when it comes to dealing with Kim Jong-un’s rogue regime, “Talking is not the answer!”
[Featured Image by Ahn Young-joon/AP Images]