Russian MPs do not think hostilities could start on Korean peninsula

Russian parliamentarians do not believe that the UN Security Council's decision to unanimously approve a resolution condemning a rocket launch by North Korea and tightening sanctions would prompt Pyongyang to launch hostilities.

"The decision of the UN Security Council to toughen sanctions is absolutely logical and necessary because, otherwise, Pyongyang would have continued implementing its nuclear program despite numerous warnings of the unacceptability of these activities," Frants Klintsevich, a United Russia Party faction member and deputy chairman of the State Duma Defense Committee, told Interfax.

"Pyongyang's threat to sever all agreements with Seoul, including the mutual non-aggression pact, as well as South Korea's promise to destroy Kim Jong Un's regime if North Korea delivers a nuclear strike against it are no more than a demonstration of strength, a kind of cheek puffing. And I am totally certain that they will not lead to any hostilities," Klintsevich said.

U.S.-South Korean joint military exercises, which have been held in the immediate vicinity of North Korea's borders, are also intended to "bring the authorities in Pyongyang to their senses," he said.

"These military exercises are also nothing more than a demonstration of strength. I am convinced that negotiations will continue through diplomatic channels after these ambitious statements and demonstrative acts," Klintsevich said.

Leonid Kalashnikov, a Communist MP and first deputy chairman of the State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee, does not expect a military conflict in this region either.

"Indeed, North Korea is driving itself into a deadlock of complete international isolation as it pursues its own security interests, but I would like to remind you that, just like Iran, the DPRK was prepared earlier to sit down at the negotiating table, but on certain terms. Pyongyang, for example, demanded an easing of its sanctions and food aid, but the international community rejected these requests," Kalashnikov told Interfax.

Tensions are running really high at the moment, and "it is possible to expect provocations from any side - either North Korea, South Korea or a third side," he said.

"Such a danger exists, and it is quite serious. But I do not think that such a scenario is possible," he said.

This conflict can be settled only through diplomatic negotiations with the North Korean leadership, Kalashnikov said.

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