'Trump Pushing Korean Crisis to Increasingly Dangerous Place' - Security Analyst

© AFP 2022 / SAUL LOEBThis file photo taken on October 16, 2017 shows US President Donald Trump speaking to the press in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC.
This file photo taken on October 16, 2017 shows US President Donald Trump speaking to the press in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC. - Sputnik International
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President Donald Trump has blamed Russia for allegedly hampering Washington's efforts to de-nuclearize North Korea. Tong Zhao, a fellow in the Beijing-based Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy told Sputnik that Trump's remarks by no means indicate a change in his rhetoric on Pyongyang.

Chinese nuclear security expert Tong Zhao said that on the one hand, the US President is "still keeping a nonviolent resolution to the North Korean nuclear crisis", but on the other, he is "seriously considering a military solution as a fallback option."

"Trump is pushing the situation to an increasingly dangerous place. In general, the US military has been increasing its preparedness in case its commander-in-chief decides to push the button against North Korea," Zhao pointed out.

A B-52 Stratofortress is refueled in-flight over the Pacific Ocean. - Sputnik International
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When asked whether the US will ever commit to the Russia-China plan on North Korea, he said that more US experts "start to recognize that some near-term agreement with North Korea — along the line of the Russia-China proposal — may be the only realistic way out of the current crisis."

At the same time, Zhao added, President Trump "still embraces the illusion that he can denuclearize North Korea very quickly through imposing more coercive pressure."

"The sooner he starts to listen to other major national leaders and his own advisors, the more quickly the current crisis can be contained," Zhao said.

He added that Russia, China, and South Korea are concerned about the fact that "Washington is committed to resolving the Korean tensions, but not necessarily through peaceful means."

In an interview with Fox News on Thursday, President Trump said that better US relations with Russia would likely reduce tensions concerning the Pyongyang nuclear issue.

"China is helping us and maybe Russia's going through the other way and hurting what we're getting," he added.

Intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) Hwasong-14 is pictured during its second test-fire in this undated picture provided by KCNA in Pyongyang on July 29, 2017. - Sputnik International
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Moscow has repeatedly called for a diplomatic solution to the North Korean issue and jointly with China proposed the so-called "double freeze" plan, which stipulates that Pyongyang should stop nuclear tests, while the US and South Korea should refrain from joint drills.

Washington has already refused to implement the plan, while there was no official response from Pyongyang on the issue.

North Korea has conducted a series of missile tests over the past few months. In September, Pyongyang tested what it described as a hydrogen bomb, in violation of a UN Security Council resolution.

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