Russian envoy warns N. Korea may conduct seventh nuclear test if ‘provoked’ by U.S.

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Also mentioned was preparations being made for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s potential trip to Pyongyang in the near future.

Russia’s ambassador to Pyongyang made it clear that any potential conflict on the Korean Peninsula will surely depend on the U.S., as North Korea is not seeking a war here.

In an interview with Russian News Agency, TASS on Wednesday, Ambassador Alexander Matsegora said Pyongyang may decide to conduct a seventh nuclear test if the U.S. continues to take “provocative steps in the region.”

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The Russian envoy recounted North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s remarks at the regime’s Supreme People’s Assembly meeting back in January.

“There is no reason for us to opt for war, therefore, we have no intention of unilaterally going to war. But if it does become a reality, we will never try to avoid it.”

Ambassador Matsegora added that if U.S. provocations against the North continue , such as “U.S. Air Force strategic bombers continue to fly over the peninsula, the North Korean leadership may as well decide to conduct a new nuclear test for the sake of further strengthening of its defense capabilities.”

He noted the responsibility for such unwelcome developments will “lie completely with Washington,” and with Seoul too, even though he admitted that little depends on the South Korean side.

Regarding Russian President Vladimir Putin’s planned visit to Pyongyang, the envoy said one of the documents to be signed between the leaders of North Korea and Russia was being prepared, adding that it’s an agreement on mutual trips by citizens between North Korea and Russia.
He did not, however, specify a timeline for Putin’s visit.

With growing interaction, the New York Times reported on Tuesday that Russia has allowed a partial release of frozen North Korean assets and may be helping Pyongyang with access to Russian banks.
Kim Jung-sil, Arirang News.