Moscow monitoring situation on Korean Peninsula amid drills, missile launches - source

The Russian Foreign Ministry is monitoring the situation on the Korean Peninsula in the context of the U.S.-South Korean military exercises and test launches of North Korean ballistic missiles.

The Russian Foreign Ministry is monitoring the situation on the Korean Peninsula in the context of the U.S.-South Korean military exercises and test launches of North Korean ballistic missiles.

"Indeed, the Russian Foreign Ministry is monitoring the situation but it will abstain from commenting for now," a ministry representative told Interfax on Monday.

"There is nothing new about this situation," another source said. "The exercises are held each year, and every time they cause an extremely negative reaction from Pyongyang," he noted.

North Korea test-fired two ballistic missiles towards the Sea of Japan on Monday, the South Korean Defense Ministry said.

The missiles with a range of up to 500 kilometers (311 miles) were launched from a site on the North Korean western coast, near the city of Nampo.

A representative of South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff told reporters that the South Korean army stayed alert given the possibility of new missile launches.

Pyongyang test-fired the missiles on Monday after the United States and South Korea had started the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle joint military exercises. According to the reports from North Korea, the exercises also involve servicemen of the United Kingdom, France, Australia and Canada.

The North Korean General Staff said the Korean Peninsula situation was once again an inch from war.

Neither a dialogue nor war situation and "merciless strikes" are the only way to deal with the aggression and war waged by the U.S. imperialists and their minions, it said.

Pyongyang warned about possible retaliatory measures if at least one shell hit the sovereign territorial zone of North Korea.

The Japanese government has strongly protested against North Korean missile test-launches.

 

Read more: North Korea may have 100 nuclear warheads by 2020, says U.S. report>>>

U.S. researchers have prepared a forecast of the development of the North Korean nuclear program for the next five years, the business daily Kommersant reports. According to the experts, North Korea's nuclear arsenal may grow to 100 warheads by 2020. This is the "worst case scenario" issued by the researchers of the program Nuclear Future of North Korea.

 

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