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Answers to questions of RTVi TV-channel by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov about the situation around DPRK, Moscow, 9 April 2013

9-04-2013, 16:37


Question: As we know, the USA refused to test their intercontinental ballistic missile. Their motivation – not to irritate North Korea. So the West perceives the threat from Pyongyang more than seriously in your opinion, does the third Kim bluff or everything is serious? Is there a real threat of war?

Sergey Lavrov: To the question that a wish “not to irritate” North Korea is the reason of this or that step, I would say that there are more than enough irritants from all parts.

It is certainly unacceptable when a state – in this case DPRK, UN member – openly and provocatively breaches a UN resolution. We expressed our opinion about this topic together with other members of the Security Council many times. The last of these cases was our response to the nuclear test performed by Pyongyang in violation of its obligations. At the same time we are convinced that the situation is already very serious, because nuclear explosions, launches of missiles are not jokes. However, declamations play not less “harmful role”, because at one time or another mutual accusations, threats and warnings can be drawn to a head, when people will paint themselves into a corner, and they will need to act, to present something to the vox populi.

Therefore we are consequently trying to appease the situation. To that end a cancellation of any measures related to demonstration of one’s military might is a positive step. This is how we estimate the decision made in the USA by Pentagon with the approval of the President Barack Obama, as far I understand. This must motivate all of us not to pile up confrontation, not to discharge emotions, but rather try to bring the situation out of the “margin”, where it has fallen, using methods of diplomacy, “calm” and non-public diplomacy, leading to the renewal of six-party talks. We are working on it. We work together with all participants to six-party talks – DPRK, the USA, Japan, Republic of Korea, we closely coordinate our actions with our Chinese neighbours. It is still hard to tell, how it will end. But I would not like, on the one hand, that the price of self-esteem manifests itself in a discharge of declamations or even worse – wrongful actions. And the other hand, I would not like to paint the situation into a corner because of the aspirations to prove that we can call everybody to order. There is no need to act by force or threats here, but rather by appeasing the situation.

I will repeat once again – measures are being taken. I cannot tell now what they will result in. We hope for the best.

Question: One of our viewers asks a question. “Don’t you think that to prevent war in the Korean Peninsula Russia may make a stronger stand at the side of DPRK?” Many representatives of our viewers write that they would like to see more resolute actions from Moscow. Do you feel that they have reached the edge: one more step – and something vital may happen?

Sergey Lavrov: I do not think that we need to make a choice here and to decide on whose side we come down. We wish to come down to the side of common sense and peaceful settlement. All the rest is based on emotions, if your viewers use reasoning: “Poor North Korea, it is surrounded, mass military trainings take place, including military and naval, land and air”. These trainings really help. And we say Americans, South Koreans and Japanese about it. But to announce that we will conduct our trainings with North Korea is a senseless path. I think that the wish to “show ourselves”, to elicit applause from some part of the audience using such a sufficiently exotic position needs to give place to the search for appeasement of the situation in all fronts.


Full interview of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov with be aired on RTVi on 10 April.



  • Category: Minister S.Lavrov
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