28 November 2017
Russia warns of ‘apocalyptic scenario’ on Korean peninsula
By Mark Moore
A Russian diplomat warned that an “apocalyptic scenario” is possible on the Korean peninsula and called for a “common sense” approach to end the standoff over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, according to a report on Monday.
“A scenario of the apocalyptic development of the situation on the Korean Peninsula exists and we cannot turn our blind eye to it,” Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov said, Russian news agency Tass reported.
“I hope that a common sense, pragmatism and an instinct of self-preservation would prevail among our partners to exclude such negative scenario,” Morgulov said during a regional conference in Seoul.
He said Moscow is cooperating in a global effort to convince the rogue regime of President Kim Jong Un to curb his nuclear ambitions.
“We have told North Korea many times that for us [its] nuclear status is unacceptable,” the diplomat said. “We continue this work with the North Korean counterparts presenting to them our position.”
President Trump, during a 12-day trip to five Asian countries earlier this month, called for a concerted effort from the nations to pressure North Korea and enforce an array of sanctions imposed against the government.
Morgulov also noted that the regime has not test-fired a missile since September, a pause in provocations that could create a diplomatic opening.
“If Pyongyang’s demonstrated restraint over the past two months was met with similar reciprocal steps on behalf of the United States and its allies then we could have moved to the start of direct talks between the United States and North Korea,” he said.
Russia and China in August proposed a “double-freeze” initiative that would involve North Korea suspending its missile launches in return for the the US and South Korea halting military drills in the region.
“Will it be possible? I am absolutely sure that it is possible,” Morgulov said.