Russia has urged all sides involved in the crisis in the Korean Peninsula to show “restraint”, warning of any “provocative steps” amid reports of potential military confrontation between North Korea and the United States.
“Moscow is watching with great concern the escalation of tensions on the Korean peninsula,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday.
“We call for restraint from all countries and warn countries not to pursue actions that could consist of any provocative steps.”
Tensions between North Korea and the United States have increased over the past weeks. Washington has been concerned by North Korea’s nuclear tests, which Pyongyang believes act as deterrence against a potential invasion by the US or South Korea.
The United States has deployed a strike group, including a large aircraft carrier, to the Korean Peninsula, and North Korea has said it is ready for war.
US President Donald Trump threatened on Thursday that North Korea was a problem that “will be taken care of.”
Senior US intelligence officials said the US military was ready to attack North Korea with conventional weapons if the country reached for a nuclear trigger.
North Korea has announced that a “big event” is coming, and, according to US officials, Pyongyang could test a nuclear weapon as early as this weekend.
Russian ambassador to North Korea Alexander Matsegora said Pyongyang could carry out new ballistic missile launches or conduct nuclear tests in the near future, expressing concern that Trump could take a fateful decision without any North Korea experts on his team.
“If Mr. Trump would listen to a Russian Korea expert with 40 years of experience, I would advise him not to do it,” he told RIA-Novosti of a potential US strike.
“Right now we all must stop at the edge of the abyss and not take this fateful step,” he said.
Also on Friday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned that “conflict could break out at any moment” on the Korean Peninsula.
The Chinese minister also said there would be “no winner” in a potential war, and that the party that triggered conflict would “pay the price.”
Pyongyang warns of “ruthless” counter attack if US strikes N. Korea
The North Korean military said it would “ruthlessly ravage” the US in response to any American attack on the Asian country.
“Our toughest counteraction against the US and its vassal forces will be taken in such a merciless manner as not to allow the aggressors to survive,” North Korea’s official KCNA news agency quoted its military as saying in a statement on Friday.
Meanwhile, North Korea’s Vice Foreign Minister Han Song-ryol warned that Pyongyang is ready to launch a pre-emptive strike against the US should it show any sign of carrying out “reckless” military aggression against the North.
He also said that North Korea believes that US President Donald Trump is “more vicious and more aggressive” than Barack Obama, adding that the North is ready to go to war if that is what Washington is seeking.