Russia says US is testing North Korea’s patience amid nuclear tension


Russia accused the United States on Friday of “testing the patience” of Pyongyang after the launch of a North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile that crashed off the coast of Japan.

Russian Vice Foreign Minister Serguei Ryabkov told the RIA Novosti news agency that Moscow was following the situation with concern and remained “faithful to a diplomatic solution” for the Korean peninsula, but that “the United States and its allies in the region (…) prefer a different path (…), as if they were testing Pyongyang’s patience”.

This Friday morning (Thursday night in Brazil), South Korea announced that it detected the launch of “an alleged intercontinental ballistic missile” fired from the Sunan area, in Pyongyang.

According to the South Korean Army, the artifact, which is the country’s longest-range weapon, traveled a distance of about 1,000 kilometers at a maximum altitude of 6,100 kilometers and fell into the sea, in Japan’s exclusive economic zone, probably around 200 km from the island of Hokkaido. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the repeated firing by Pyongyang was intolerable.

The launch was made less than 24 hours after a short-range missile was fired on Thursday (17), in what the North Korean regime called a “fiercer response” to US efforts to increase its military presence in the region. . According to a statement from the North Korean regime, in a threatening tone, Washington is making a “gamble it will regret”.

The North Korean dictatorship has already carried out more than 40 launches in 2022, amidst a scenario in which atomic threats were renewed by Pyongyang in the most intense way since 2017. At the beginning of the month, a shot fired by North Korea even generated a shelter alert to residents of Japan. One of the projectiles used in the test was apparently an intercontinental missile, which failed.

On the last day 12, in a meeting with the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, the American president, Joe Biden, reinforced the message that, if North Korea continues with missile launches, the US presence in the region will be greater.

Last month, the US responded to the firing of an intermediate-range missile that flew over Japan by sending an aircraft carrier to the region and bombing exercises with Japanese and South Koreans. Pyongyang retaliated with more ballistic missiles and fighter jet training.

Meetings between the two powers

In the same interview in which he accused the US of testing the North Koreans’ patience, and a few days before a meeting scheduled in Cairo between Moscow and Washington to discuss the issue of nuclear proliferation, the Russian Ryabkov added that he does not rule out new high-level meetings level on “strategic stability”. “If the Americans show interest and readiness, we will not refuse,” said the vice-chancellor.

The term “strategic stability” is used by the world’s two largest nuclear powers in reference to reducing the risk of nuclear war.

The meeting in the Egyptian capital, scheduled for the period from November 29 to December 6, has the objective of discussing the new START treaty for the reduction of nuclear weapons.

When it comes to the Ukrainian War, however, Ryabkov has previously signaled that there was nothing to talk about with the US. “No, there is simply nothing to talk to them about Ukraine. There simply cannot be any dialogue, let alone negotiations, given the radical opposing positions,” he told Interfax.

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