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PRESS RELEASE


Russian Diplomat Warns of ‘Apocalyptic Scenario’ on Korean Peninsula

Nov. 27, 2017 (EIRNS)—The eighth annual Asian Conference of the Valdai international, "Looking into the Future: Russia and Asia in the Next 20 Years," is now taking place in Seoul over Nov. 27-28. Addressing the event, Russian delegation head Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov warned of the dangers of a major conflict on the Korean Peninsula. "A scenario of the apocalyptic development of the situation on the Korean Peninsula exists and we cannot turn our blind eye to it," Morgulov said

"I hope that a common sense, pragmatism and an instinct of self-preservation would prevail among our partners to exclude such negative scenario.

"We have told North Korea many times that for us [its] nuclear status is unacceptable. We continue this work with the North Korean counterparts presenting to them our position,"

he continued, according to the report from TASS.

"We greatly value that North Korea preserves the regime of silence [no missile or nuclear weapons tests - ed.] for two months already, and Russia actively works to make sure that the current regime continues as long as possible,"

Morgulov said. But he also pointed out that "the United States is not planning to reduce the scale of its regular military exercises, but also plans holding sudden drills as well."

"Russia has presented [its peace plan] roadmap’s contents both to the U.S. and to the D.P.R.K., and I would like to say that ‘at the very entrance’ the plan has not been rejected either by Washington or by Pyongyang, though still no answer. Besides, we have spoken for discussing certain elements of this plan separately with the U.S. and with North Korea,"

he continued.

Speaking negatively of the U.S. response to the last two months of Pyongyang’s "silence" in staging no new nuclear or missile tests, Morgulov said,

"This will not result in the North Korean authorities giving up missile and nuclear programs, but on the contrary, will only strengthen its intentions to stay until the very end. I believe that the path of pressure has no perspectives and there is no other alternative to the dialogue,"

he stressed.

Morgulov further said,

"The key agenda of such talks can be very simple, which is the principles of peaceful coexistence. I believe that the lack of such concord gives roots to hostility and mutual mistrust among the involved parties.

"The United States and its allies should at least reduce the scale of their regular military exercises they are holding in the region of the Korean Peninsula.".

He also addressed Russia’s economic cooperation with South Korea and said the establishment of a free trade zone between the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and South Korea is possible. "Negotiations on the issue are underway and several rounds have been already held," Morgulov told journalists at the event.

"This is not an easy process, the South Korean economy is very developed and powerful and the EAEU must assume a very serious approach to this issue."