05:53 GMT +312 December 2017
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    Washington Needs to Show 'US Not Seeking to Attack North Korea'

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    The US and North Korea should hold a sustained dialogue with Washington showing that it isn't seeking to attack the DPRK, the executive director of the US-based Arms Control Association (ACA) told Sputnik.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Daryl Kimball called the UN sanctions aimed at stopping Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs development "a blunt instrument that takes time to have an effect," adding that the restrictive measures would not by themselves halt further North Korean nuclear and ballistic missile testing.

    "There is plenty of economic and political pressure on North Korea to halt its nuclear and missile pursuits but to give us a greater chance of success, we need to have an effective and sustained dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang aimed at halting further nuclear and long-range ballistic missile testing, modifying [US-South Korean] military exercises and activities to show that the United States is not seeking to attack North Korea, while we seek the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and a peace regime on the peninsula," Kimball said.

    Navy vessels are moored in port at the U.S. Naval Base Guam at Apra Harbor, Guam March 5, 2016
    © REUTERS/ Major Jeff Landis,USMC (Ret.)/Naval Base Guam/Handout/File Photo
    The ACA executive director went on to say that neither Washington nor Pyongyang wanted to attack an opponent which does not provoke them first.

    "North Korea is seeking to create a credible nuclear deterrent and that they do not intend to strike without provocation because they understand that doing so would amount to national suicide. Despite [US President Donald] Trump’s reckless rhetoric, US military leaders recognize there is no assured way to counter every North Korean nuclear or conventional target that could threaten South Korea or Japan," Kimball explained.

    If North Korea "miscalculates or misunderstands" the US statements about the possibility of a pre-emptive strike against Pyongyang, and believes that a such an attack is imminent or underway, North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un may launch some of his nuclear arsenal, Kimball said.

    "This is why we believe it is essential to reduce tensions, halt the hyperbolic rhetoric, and engage in an adult, direct dialogue," he pointed out.

    The tensions around North Korea have been high over the recent months and they have escalated further after the tightening of economic sanctions against North Korea by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Saturday in response to July's launches of ballistic missiles by Pyongyang.

    The move prompted harsh criticism from Pyongyang which subsequently vowed to use any means possible to retaliate against the United States after the UNSC approved the new US-drafted sanctions. Trump in turn, warned, that North Korea’s possible actions would be met with "fire and fury" from the United States. Following the statement, Pyongyang said it is considering an attack near the Pacific island of Guam where several US military bases were located.

    Earlier in the day, Trump said that US military solutions are "fully in place, locked and loaded" should North Korea "act unwisely."

    Related:

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    For Real? US Building 'Great Walls' in S Korea Against 'Threat' From Pyongyang
    Tags:
    Kim Jong-un, Donald Trump, Guam, United States, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK)
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