Moscow has no data that Pyongyang is preparing to launch missiles from a submarine; in general, such an analyst on what is happening in DPRK is often politicized, said in an interview with RIA Novosti Director of the Department of International Organizations of the Russian Foreign Ministry Peter Ilyichev.
Experts of the Washington Center for Strategic and International Studies said earlier this month that Pyongyang is preparing for test launches of ballistic missiles from a submarine.
Such a conclusion was made after studying satellite images of the Shinpho shipyard in North Korea. In their opinion, the main sign of preparation for the tests was the presence of several vessels in an enclosed basin, one of which resembled a vessel that had previously been used for towing barges with test missiles. Another sign, according to American experts, is the presence of two Romeo class submarines moored in the bay.
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“We do not have such information. Such analytics in sensitive issues should be approached with caution, it often carries a purposeful political charge,” Ilyichev said commenting on these reports.
“In general, it is clear that possible sharp steps by North Korea will certainly complicate the matter. In the past, they have repeatedly lied to the unwinding of the sanctions spiral. But regional security, which is certainly worrying Russia too, does not depend solely on Pyongyang’s actions. That is why we call on all interested parties to be guided primarily by the interests of peace and stability, to demonstrate the most responsible behavior,” Ilyichev emphasized.
According to him, such “air pressure” eloquently suggests that the current relative calm around the Korean peninsula should not “pause” multilateral diplomacy.
The problem of easing sanctions against Pyongyang will have to be solved sooner or later; without it, it will be impossible to achieve a full settlement on the Korean Peninsula, Pyotr Ilyichev said.
He reminded that last year Moscow and Beijing offered their partners on the UN Security Council a draft political resolution on the DPRK, which is designed “to help the international community to unblock the problem nodes of the Korean Peninsula.
“At the same time, we closely followed the U.S.-North Korean dialogue, sincerely recognized its importance, wished it a success, but at some point, it began to decline. There was both a deep crisis of trust and a lack of ideas. Our initiative provided a necessary benchmark, as it is based on the principles of reciprocity and phasing, without which we can hardly move forward in resolving the problems of the Korean peninsula,” Ilyichev said.
In particular, he added, one of the key elements of such a strategy is the easing of international sanctions against the DPRK.
“Pyongyang’s one-sided concessions without countermovement can hardly be considered a realistic prospect. And humanitarian exemptions, in any case, should work without fail – we never tire of repeating that. We are convinced that it will not be possible to avoid discussing this issue, if the goal is really to find a solution to the problem, so our project remains on the table regardless of the direction in which the political wind blows in the U.S.,” Ilyichev said, answering the question of whether the resolution can be expected before the presidential elections in the United States.
“It is unlikely that everything here should be reduced to the American elections, although it is a significant factor. For us, the main thing is that it will be useful. We believe that it is still beneficial at least by what is on the table, it is known about it, people are interested in it, they understand that the idea behind it can be used as a promising model for de-escalation of tension,” the diplomat stated.
DPRK’s nuclear program has been a source of concern for the international community for many years; its development has provoked the imposition of sanctions against Pyongyang by the UN Security Council. After a series of missile and nuclear tests in 2017, North Korea announced the achievement of the program objectives and readiness for denuclearization, implying the withdrawal of nuclear weapons from the entire Korean peninsula and obtaining security assurances.