Russia has accused the United States, South Korea, and Japan of forming a military alliance that is preparing for war with North Korea. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov made the allegation at a UN press conference on Wednesday, January 24, 2024, where he criticized the increased military activity and exercises of the three countries in the region.
Lavrov said that the US, South Korea, and Japan have created a new bloc that is clearly aimed at confronting and containing North Korea, which he referred to as the DPRK, the initials of its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. He said that the bloc’s objective is “to prepare for war with the DPRK”, and that it is using “nuclear-related cooperation” as a pretext.
Lavrov also said that the bloc’s actions are provoking and escalating the tensions and the risks of a conflict on the Korean Peninsula, and that they are undermining the efforts and the interests of other parties, such as Russia and China, who have been calling for dialogue and diplomacy to resolve the issue peacefully.
Lavrov’s statement came after the US, South Korea, and Japan conducted a joint naval exercise involving an American aircraft carrier in the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan, last week. The exercise was the latest in a series of military drills that the three countries have been holding in response to the growing nuclear and missile threats from North Korea.
North Korea has been conducting frequent and provocative tests of its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, in defiance of the UN Security Council resolutions and the international sanctions. North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un has claimed that his country has developed the capability to strike the US mainland with a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile.
The US, South Korea, and Japan have said that their military cooperation is defensive in nature, and that they are committed to the denuclearization and the stability of the Korean Peninsula. They have also said that they are open to dialogue and negotiations with North Korea, if it shows sincerity and seriousness in abandoning its nuclear and missile programs.
However, Lavrov said that Russia does not trust the intentions and the sincerity of the US and its allies, and that it suspects that they have a hidden agenda and a double standard. He said that the US and its allies are trying to impose their will and their values on North Korea, and that they are ignoring the legitimate security concerns and the sovereignty of the country.
Lavrov also said that Russia has a different and a constructive approach to the Korean issue, and that it respects and supports the independence and the development of North Korea. He said that Russia has a good and a close relationship with North Korea, and that it is ready to host a summit between Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin, at a convenient time and place.
Lavrov said that Russia believes that the only way to achieve a lasting and a comprehensive solution to the Korean issue is through dialogue and cooperation, and that it supports the resumption of the six-party talks, which involve North Korea, South Korea, China, Japan, Russia, and the US. He said that Russia also supports the implementation of the 2005 joint statement, which outlines a roadmap for the denuclearization and the normalization of the Korean Peninsula.