Russia does not doubt that the U.S. would be able to “do something very destructive” to North Korea, foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with TASS and AP published on Wednesday, in response to President Donald Trump’s first speech to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.
“We heard the statements from President Trump about North Korea in the same vein for many times,” Lavrov said. “We don’t doubt that the United States has capacity to do something very destructive.”
Trump yesterday condemned North Korea and threatened the country with total destruction if it posed a threat to the U.S. or its allies.
“The United States has great strength and patience but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea… The United States is ready, willing and able but hopefully, this will not be necessary,” the President said.
Lavrov said, however, that Russia welcomed other aspects of the President’s speech.
“He said he respects sovereignty and equality in international relations, that the United States wants to live by example and not otherwise, and that the U.S. would not impose its way of life on others and will accept the plurality of the nations, cultures, and civilizations,” he continued.
“I think it’s a very welcomed statement which we haven’t heard from an American leader for a very long time.”
In the immediate aftermath of the speech on Tuesday, Lavrov told reporters that Washington should move towards dialogue with North Korea and described Trump’s speech as “remarkable.”
“If we simply resort to condemnation and threats, we will probably only antagonize the countries that we are willing to influence,” Lavrov said, following a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. “That’s why we prefer to work with all parties concerned, to incite them to engage in dialogue.”
“President Trump spoke of developments in countries, used the term ‘rogue regimes,’ spoke of what the United States can do to North Korea,” Lavrov said. “We have a stance in principle: we are not willing to demonize anyone, we are always trying to understand what the essence of a problem is.”
During his speech on Tuesday, Trump thanked Russia and China for their help in passing two recent UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions against North Korea, while condemning countries which traded with or armed, supplied or financially supported the DPRK.
Tillerson on Friday called on China and Russia to take “direct action” against North Korea, in the aftermath of a launch by Pyongyang of the Hwasong-12 missile over Japan.
Russia and China on Monday reiterated their position that there was “no alternative” to diplomacy in solving the North Korean issue, in a statement by the Russian foreign ministry following a meeting between Lavrov and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.
Edited by: Oliver Hotham
Featured Image: UN Geneva
Join the influential community of members who rely on NK News original news and in-depth reporting.
Subscribe to read the remaining 487 words of this article.