Published: Fri, August 11, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Russia's Lavrov warns risk of North Korea escalation 'very high'

Russia's Lavrov warns risk of North Korea escalation 'very high'

Russia has put its eastern air defense systems on high alert following an exchange of nuclear threats between neighboring North Korea and U.S. President Donald Trump, a top Russian lawmaker said on Friday.

Asked to assess the threat of military conflict, Lavrov said: "The risks are very high, especially taking into account the rhetoric". Viktor Ozerov, who said Friday Russian defenses are preparing for the potential of North Korean military aggression somewhere in the region.

"Unfortunately the rhetoric in Washington and Pyongyang is starting to go off the charts", Lavrov said.

"My personal opinion is that when you get close to the point of a fight breaking out, the side that is stronger and cleverer should take the first step away from the threshold of danger".

North Korea's military said Wednesday it was considering a missile attack near the USA island territory of Guam after President Donald Trump threatened Pyongyang with "fire and fury".

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Lavrov also old the forum that the USA will keep its sanctions against Russian Federation in place for a long time.

The situation on the Korean Peninsula has become aggravated in recent months due to a series of missile launches and nuclear tests conducted by Pyongyang in violation of UN Security Council resolutions.

The fiery rhetoric between USA and North Korea of recent days, which follows two intercontinental ballistic missile tests by Pyongyang last month, even led South Korea to mull placing nuclear weapons on its own soil.

North Korea said on Wednesday that it was considering a missile attack near the USA island of Guam, which hosts several U.S. military bases after President Donald Trump threatened Pyongyang with "fire and fury" over its recurring missile tests.

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