Following Kim Jong Un’s announcement that nuclear missiles be ready to fire at a moments notice, the isolates rogue nation has gone a step further threatening pre-emptive nuclear strikes on South Korea and the U.S., with the intent to “annihilate” them. The threats come in response to the largest U.S. and South Korean joint military exercises which the North see as a practice run for an invasion.
However, it is not just the U.S. and their allies who are speaking out firmly against this dangerous rhetoric. One of North Korea’s few remaining allies, Russia, has issued stern warning that the country’s provocative language may be grounds under international law to warrant military intervention.
This comes as a minor mixed signal from Russia, who had this to say after the joint exercises between the South and the U.S.:
“Naturally, as a state, which is directly named as an object of this kind of military activities, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) cannot but feel reasonably concerned for its security.”
Following the threats of pre-emptive strikes, it appears Russia sees a clear line between reasonable concern and unreasonable threats. In a statement, the Russian Foreign Ministry had this to say (translated by Itar Tass news agency):
“We consider it to be absolutely impermissible to make public statements containing threats to deliver some ‘preventive nuclear strikes’ against opponents.”
“Pyongyang should be aware of the fact that in this way the DPRK will become fully opposed to the international community and will create international legal grounds for using military force against itself in accordance with the right of a state to self-defense enshrined in the United Nations Charter.”
Now it is unclear whether or not Russia is suggesting they may personally be part of that military intervention or whether or not this is a message to Pyongyang, that they reap what they sow in terms of such over-the-top language.
Russia and China, North Korea’s only two worthwhile allies have been between a rock and a hard place when it comes to the young new dictator of North Korea who is determined to flex his muscle and display his control over the country. Taking serious steps against the government of North Korea could throw the country into a tailspin making bloodshed on a historic level more likely.
Daniel Pinkston, a North Korean researcher at Troy University in South Korea told the Guardian:
“Pyongyang should be learning that the types of threats they continue to make will have consequences.”
“The security dilemma dynamics that the behaviour and rhetoric set in motion are making Son’gun Korea less secure, not more secure,” he said. “This is the flaw in their national security strategy, and it will continue to be exposed in the future.”
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