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    A TV screen shows pictures of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, right, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016

    Spike in US-North Korea Tensions Signals 'Talks Possible in the Coming Months'

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    The ever-growing tensions between the United States and North Korea may be a signal that the open war of words between the two sides will soon end and Washington and Pyongyang will come to the negotiating table, according to political analyst Georgy Toloraya.

    Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have recently intensified due to North Korea's multiple nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches conducted in violation of UN Security Council resolutions.

    Last month, Pyongyang is believed to have conducted two tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles. According to the Korean Central News Agency, the latest launch on July 28 was successful, and the missile reached the altitude of 3,725 kilometers and traveled 998 kilometers, for about 47 minutes, before falling into the Sea of Japan.

    The US and North Korea have exchanged a series of warmongering statements over the recent week.

    For example, US President Donald Trump said that North Korea "will be met with fire and fury" if Pyongyang does not reign in its "threats to the US."
    "[North Korean leader Ki Jong-un] has been very threatening beyond a normal state. They will be met with the fire and fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before," Trump told the press pool in Bedminster, New Jersey, on Tuesday.

    In response, North Korean state-run news agency KCNA reported the North Korean Strategic Force is carefully considering examining the operational plan for making an "enveloping fire at the areas around Guam" with Hwasong-12 ballistic missiles.

    On Thursday, Trump told reporters, "Let's see what he does with Guam. If he [Kim Jong Un] does something in Guam, it will be an event the likes of which nobody’s seen before what will happen in North Korea."

    The US president later said that US military solutions are "fully in place, locked and loaded" should North Korea "act unwisely."

    "Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully [North Korean leader] Kim Jong Un will find another path!" Trump stated on Twitter.

    On Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed serious concerns over the situation, saying that the risks of the tensions turning into a full-fledged war between the US and North Korea are "very high."

    Georgy Toloraya, the director of the Center for Russian Strategy in Asia at the Russian Academy of Sciences, suggested that despite the recent threatening rhetoric neither Washington nor Pyongyang would take any practical steps.

    "This is just an instrument of psychological pressure, from both sides. Everyone knows it. Any concrete actions are highly unlikely. Moreover, Pyongyang will not attack Guam. Why would they ever do that? North Korea would be immediately destroyed," Toloraya said in an interview with Sputnik.

    According to the expert, Pyongyang manipulates public opinion, including in the US, in an attempt to make Washington recognize Pyongyang as an equal partner.

    "They want be recognized not as a poor little country half the world away, but as a power that holds nuclear parity to the US and that maintains mutual deterrence with the US, just like the Soviet Union did back in the day," Toloraya pointed out.

    He underscored that the plan of the North Korean leadership is to have the opportunity to negotiate on favorable terms.

    "There is a 99 percent chance that this rhetoric will be scrapped as soon as the sides have launched bilateral contacts, secretly and then publicly," Toloraya suggested, adding that such a scenario will be possible "in the coming months."

    Related:

    Risks of N Korea-US Conflict Turning Into War are High - Lavrov
    Seoul and Washington Agreed on N Korea Talks in Advance - Spokesman
    Trump Says North Korea to Face 'Event' if Anything Done in Guam
    ‘Strong and Resolute’: South Korea, Japan Issue ‘Stern Warning’ to North Korea
    Tags:
    North Korean nuclear program, tensions, conflict, talks, Donald Trump, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), United States
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