One of Russia’s highest-ranking diplomats warned Thursday that a U.S. attack on North Korea would have serious repercussions across the globe and stressed his country’s opposition to such a move. He wasn’t alone.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov and officials from multiple countries around the world are rejecting President Donald Trump’s promise Wednesday to “totally destroy” North Korea. Trump’s fiery U.N. speech came after months of mounting tensions between his administration and an increasingly bellicose, nuclear-capable North Korea, led by Kim Jong Un. While Russia has also criticized Kim’s nuclear ambitions and routine ballistic missile tests, Gatilov emphasized that Moscow would not stand for a direct U.S. assault on North Korea—something Trump’s administration has repeatedly touted as a possibility.
“This is their long-running thesis that all options remain on the table, including military ones. But we believe this will have dire consequences both for North and South Korea, and the region in general, and for all international relations in general. This is not an option,” Gatilov told the state-run Tass Russian News Agency, adding that he believed Washington should be savvy enough to know not to launch such a bold move.
“Still, common sense should prevail here. We should think not about military methods but how to start talks and dialogue,” he said.
Russia wasn’t the only country frustrated by the rhetoric of Trump’s first U.N. General Assembly address, in which he called Kim a “Rocket Man” who is “on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime.” Representatives of North Korea, the target of the Republican leader’s attacks, had walked out of the room prior to Trump’s threats, but the country’s foreign minister, Ri Yong Ho, later likened the speech to “dog-barking sounds” that did not surprise Pyongyang.
Like previous U.S. leaders, Trump has rejected North Korea’s self-proclaimed right to possess nuclear weapons, which the country argues are crucial for guarding…