New sanctions against Pyongyang to be futile - State Duma International Affairs Committee

It would be futile to impose new sanctions against North Korea, which has conducted another nuclear test, State Duma International Affairs Committee Chairman Alexei Pushkov told a Wednesday press conference at Interfax.

"Sanctions against North Korea are rather serious already, they are unlikely to bring any results," Pushkov said.

In his opinion, North Korea will not abandon its military nuclear program. "I see no reasons for which North Korea would do that," Pushkov said.

"Prosperity is not the principle on which [Korean society] is built," he added.

Pushkov argues that Russia should step up cooperation with the United States in the promotion of a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.

"No solution has been found so far," he said. "A question where we may cooperate with the United States if we differ over so many issues is asked often. There is an area. This is an apparent area of cooperation between Russia and the United States."

Six countries are taking part in the negotiations on the North Korean problem, he said.

"In my opinion, the United States and China are the key negotiators, but Russia also plays an essential role because it is a member of the UN Security Council and there is a truly common standpoint of the international community on North Korea. No matter how much [North Korea] may be isolated and introverted, it must realize that the Security Council is united over the issue," Pushkov said.

The parliamentarian believes that North Korea will not change its mind about nuclear weapons. "They have been holding tests since 2006, which means the program started much earlier. Let us presume North Korea has been working on the project for 15-20 years. I do not think they will stop it now," Pushkov said.

"The next stage would be the most dangerous - warheads will be attached to delivery vehicles, aircraft, nuclear bombs will be made and missiles will be constructed. If Korea enters this stage, we will face an absolutely new situation on the Korean Peninsula and in the Far East where a nuclear power of low predictability will emerge. That would be a very serious blow on the nuclear non-proliferation regime," Pushkov said.

In his opinion, North Korea may view nuclear weapons as a demonstration of success to its population and a tool for blackmailing the world.

"If the world wants North Korea to curb down its [nuclear] aspirations, it would have to offer something in exchange," he said.

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