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Mon, 06/29/2020 - 15:11
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Pyongyang unlikely to respond by nuclear test to worsening ties with Seoul - Russian envoy

MOSCOW, June 29. /TASS/. Pyongyang is unlikely to resume strategic arms tests over the latest deterioration of relations with Seoul and North Korea’s officials are not discussing this, Russian Ambassador to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Alexander Matsegora said in an interview with TASS First Deputy Director General Mikhail Gusman on Monday. "In their official statements the DPRK’s leadership and official representatives said directly what these so-called military measures could include: the deployment of military units to the border in the areas of Kaesong and Mount Kumgang together with armaments; this could be returning the military to the control points located within the demilitarized zone; this is possibly some military preparations and drills. But in no case tests of ballistic missiles and, of course, not nuclear tests," Matsegora said. Meanwhile, in any case the above mentioned steps are dangerous and do not contribute to a calm athmosphere on the Korean Peninsula, he noted. The diplomat also explained that the issue on strategic armaments was not on the agenda between Seoul and Pyongyang and this issue was discussed by the representatives of North Korea and the United States. "Pyongyang strives in every possible way to establish a certain kind of barrier between itself and the South Korean partners in terms of discussing strategic weapons. Therefore, in my opinion, the tests of strategic weapons are unlikely to take place on the inter-Korean agenda, because this will most likely be postponed until the future, when it comes to relations between Pyongyang and Washington," the ambassador noted. North Korea blew up its joint liaison office with Seoul in Kaesong on June 16 in response to propaganda leaflets sent by South Korean NGOs. Later, North Korea refused to comply with the inter-Korean deal in the military field in the border areas. Pyongyang’s authorities also reported about plans to publish some 12 mln propaganda leaflets and spread them to South Korea. However, on June 24 the Korean Central News Agency reported that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had made a decision to suspend "military action plans" against South Korea. Seoul welcomed this step.