U.S. Is Forcing North Korea War By Pressuring Kim Jong Un To ‘Fly Off The Handle,’ Top Russian Diplomat Says (Source Newsweek) Russia’s top diplomat accused the United States Thursday of deliberately creating a context for a possible invasion of North Korea by pushing leader Kim Jong Un to take increasingly extreme measures to protect his totalitarian regime. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov took umbrage with Washington’s approach to the ever-escalating threat posed by the North’s nuclear and missile defense programs. He also questioned U.S.’s increasing sanctions on Pyongyang, and challenged joint military drills with South Korea, which he claimed the U.S. told Russia would be pushed back until next year. “The latest U.S. actions look designed to deliberately provoke Pyongyang into taking new extreme action,” Lavrov said while in Belarus, according to Reuters.
The drills, called Vigilant Ace 18, are scheduled to take place between December 4 and 8 and involve 12,000 U.S. personnel from across the entire military, the U.S. military announced last week. North Korea has labeled the drills as practice runs for a military invasion and overthrow of its government. But Lavrov said Russia has been led to believe the drills would take place next spring, to enable a prolonged cooling off period for diplomacy.
“We were encouraged by that approach,” he said. “And then suddenly … they announced large-scale exercises in December. We have the impression that it was all done especially to get Kim Jong Un to ‘fly off the handle’ and take another reckless step.”