Russia fears escalation in Korea conflict

March 31st, 2013

              2013-03-30 Vatican Radio

 Russia is anxious as a North Korean propaganda video animation posted on the Internet shows rising tensions in its immediate neighbourhood.

It appeared shortly before North Korea announced entering “a state of war” with South Korea, in the latest rhetoric against its neighbour and the United States.

‘DESTROYING’ US PLANE

The video shows a North Korean missile destroying a nuclear-capable American B-2 bomber aircraft, though there was no sign the attack actually happened.

On Thursday, the United States sent a pair of the planes on a first-of-its-kind practice run over the skies of South Korea.

U.S. officials said it was a diplomatic sortie and that the planes returned safely to their basis.

However Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has made clear that Moscow fears the increased military activity near North Korea, which also include joint South Korean and American drills, will escalate the conflict.

‘BUILD-UP MILITARY ACTIVITY’

“We are concerned that, along with this adequate reaction of the Security Council, along with the collective reaction of the world community, unilateral actions are being taken around North Korea, which are manifested in the build-up of military activity,” he told reporters in Moscow. “The situation may slip out of control and fall into a vicious circle.”

And, in an apparent warning to the West, Russia has begun its own military manoeuvres in the Black Sea involving dozens of war ships and planes. The operations are held not far from the former Soviet republic of Georgia where Russia fought a brief war in 2008.

Washington remains sceptical, saying North Korea’s rhetoric only leads to increased isolation.

The tensions have done little to help at least hundreds of thousands of people, including many Christians, who are believed to spent this Easter in North Korean prison camps, known for torture, executions and slave labour.

Rights groups say North Korea is still the most hostile nation in which to live and practice the Christian faith. At least 100,000 or more Christians are believed to be languishing in camps for their refusal to worship nation founder Kim Il-Sung’s cult.