Are Russia And North Korea Allies

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One of Russia's highest-ranking diplomats warned Thursday that a U.S. attack on North Korea would have serious repercussions across the globe and stressed his country's opposition to such a move. He wasn't alone. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov and officials from multiple countries around the world are rejecting President Donald Trump's promise Wednesday to "totally destroy" North Korea.

Trump's fiery U.N. speech came after months of mounting tensions between his administration and an increasingly bellicose, nuclear-capable North Korea, led by Kim Jong Un. While Russia has also criticized Kim's nuclear ambitions and routine ballistic missile tests, Gatilov emphasized that Moscow would not stand for a direct U.S. assault on North Korea—something Trump's administration has repeatedly touted as a possibility.

Related: Iran blasts Trump 'hate speech,' as world leaders react to president's first United Nations address Keep up with this story and more by subscribing now "This is their long-running thesis that all options remain on the table, including military ones. But we believe this will have dire consequences both for North and South Korea, and the region in general, and for all international relations in general.

This is not an option," Gatilov told the state-run Tass Russian News Agency, adding that he believed Washington should be savvy enough to know not to launch such a bold move. "Still, common sense should prevail here. We should think not about military methods but how to start talks and dialogue," he said. South Korean troops fire a Hyunmoo Missile into the waters of the East Sea at a military exercise in South Korea, on September 15.

In response to North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile tests, anxious U.S. allies South Korea and Japan have increasingly turned to President Donald Trump for support. South Korean Defense Ministry/Yonhap via REUTERS Russia wasn't the only country frustrated by the rhetoric of Trump's first U.N. General Assembly address, in which he called Kim a "Rocket Man" who is "on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime.

" Representatives of North Korea, the target of the Republican leader's attacks, had walked out of the room prior to Trump's threats, but the country's foreign minister, Ri Yong Ho, later likened the speech to "dog-barking sounds" that did not surprise Pyongyang. Like previous U.S. leaders, Trump has rejected North Korea's self-proclaimed right to possess nuclear weapons, which the country argues are crucial for guarding the reclusive, communist state's sovereignty.

Since conducting its first nuclear test in 2006, North Korea's military has advanced rapidly, especially after Kim became the third generation of his family to lead the country following his father's death in 2011. This year alone, North Korea launched its first ever intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests and its sixth nuclear test, believed to have been a hydrogen bomb more powerful than all previous tests combined.

These developments, along with reports that North Korea has potentially achieved the technology to fit warheads onto its missiles, could place much of the world, including parts of the U.S., in Kim's scope. A war between the U.S. and North Korea has been projected as killing at least a million people—without the use of nuclear weapons. The fatalities would increase significantly if North Korea were to successfully launch a nuclear strike on the U.

S., which it has promised to do if attacked. As tensions between Trump and Kim mount, some U.S. allies and foes alike have attempted to step in to defuse the situation. A series of North Korean-flagged vessels that left Russia for China between March and June ended up off North Korean ports, Reuters tracking data shows in this graphic dated September 18. Changing destinations mid-journey is not forbidden, but U.

S. authorities reportedly say the tactic could be an attempt to undermine severe international sanctions lobbed against North Korea over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Thompson Reuters Eikon Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom called Trump's U.N. address "the wrong speech, at the wrong time, to the wrong audience," and German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel warned last month that a war between the U.

S. and North Korea "could result in more victims than World War II," which would make it the deadliest conflict in human history. China, North Korea's closest ally since its founding and during subsequent conflict with its U.S.-backed southern neighbor in the 1950s, has joined forces with Russia in trying to establish a peaceful resolution to the crisis. The countries, both traditional critics of U.

S. foreign policy, have called on Trump and Kim to renounce their current brinkmanship and engage one another in dialogue.  Pacific U.S. allies South Korea and Japan, however, have mostly welcomed Trump's hardline tactics. A South Korean presidential spokesperson, Park Soo-hyun, praised Trump's "firm and specific stance regarding the important issue of maintaining peace and security now facing the international community and the United Nations," according to The Washington Post.

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Syria and North Korea, two leading opponents of U.S. foreign policy that are also considered sponsors of terrorism by the State Department, have gotten increasingly close as an international axis opposed to Washington and its allies grows more influential across the globe. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, both of whom assumed power after their fathers' deaths, have found themselves targets of President Donald Trump's foreign policy in two crucial arenas—the Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.

Since the U.S. leader made the unprecedented step to strike Syria's military over chemical weapons accusations in April, and hours later threatened to attack North Korea amid reports of an upcoming nuclear weapons test, the two nations have relied on their historic Cold War ties.  Related: War in Syria: Assad thanks Iran and North Korea for help in letters to two supreme leaders opposed to U.

S. Keep up with this story and more by subscribing now A recent meeting between North Korea's Syrian ambassador, Jang Myong Ho, and Syrian Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Rima al-Qadiri showcased a rare instance of Pyongyang making public its involvement in the Middle East. "Minister al-Qadiri said that the Syrian people highly appreciate the stances of DPRK’s people in supporting Syria, mainly during the reconstruction stage, highlighting the importance of benefiting from the highly specialized expertise of the Korean side," the official Syrian Arab News Agency reported Wednesday, using an acronym for North Korea's official title, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

"In turn, the Ambassador expressed his country’s readiness to contribute to the reconstruction of Syria with its expertise and companies specialized in decor and construction," the state-run outlet added. A young woman holds a North Korean flag during the inauguration ceremony of a park in the Syrian capital of Damascus to honor North Korean founding father Kim Il Sung on August 31, 2015. North Korea and Syria have bonded over what they perceive as U.

S. imperialist aggression against their governments. AFP/Getty Images The meeting came days after North Korea's government-controlled Korean Central News Agency reported that Assad sent Kim a response letter after the latter congratulated his Syrian counterpart on the 47th anniversary of the Corrective Movement that placed his father, Hafez al-Assad, in power in 1970. After wishing the best for Kim, Assad said he reiterated his "will to consolidate the ties of friendship and cooperation between the two countries in line with the interests and well-being of their friendly peoples.

" Shortly after Hafez al-Assad's military coup, North Korea sent fighters to assist in the Syria and Egypt-led Arab battles with Israel during the 1972 Yom Kippur War and positioned itself against Israel, which it viewed as a U.S.-backed "imperial state." When the younger Assad assumed the Syrian leadership in 2000, North Korea allegedly helped him build a nuclear reactor, which was later destroyed by an Israeli airstrike in 2007.

In addition, the U.N. has accused North Korea of helping Syria to develop chemical weapons. Both Syria and North Korea have denied such collaborations. Since 2011, the year that Kim took power in his country and Assad began to lose control of his amid a nationwide uprising, the fortunes of both leaders have improved. North Korea quickly backed Assad, joining Russia and Iran in condemning what they considered a plot sponsored by the West and its Gulf Arab allies.

While Syria's pro-Saudi Arabia opposition accused North Korea of sending troops to back Assad last year, it was Russia's 2015 intervention that helped turn the tide against the rebels and jihadis. Earlier this month, Syria and its allies declared victory over one of their leading opponents, the Islamic State militant group (ISIS), and Assad emerged as the most powerful faction in the lengthy conflict.

This same year, North Korea successfully launched its first intercontinental ballistic missiles and conducted its sixth nuclear weapons test, a hydrogen bomb by far more powerful than all of its previously tested weapons combined. Experts have said that nuclear-armed North Korea's military advancements and a resurgent Syrian military backed by Russia and Iran present serious threats to Trump's plans for the Middle East.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad reviews the honor guard with North Korea's Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the legislative Supreme People's Assembly, upon his arrival in Damascus on July 16, 2002. Syria and North Korea have boosted ties with Cuba, Iran and Russia, traditional foes of U.S. foreign policy. Syrian Arab News Agency/Reuters "North Korea's decades-old military alliance with the Assad regime is stoking fears inside the Trump administration that Kim Jong Un is not only profiting from Syria's six-year war, but also learning from it," ex-reporter Jay Solomon wrote earlier this month for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, in a report cited Monday by CNBC.

The institute is a pro-Israel think tank where Solomon has served as a visiting fellow since June. Russia's and Iran's victories in Syria have not only helped bolster a multinational "Axis of Resistance" that has shifted alliances in the strategic region. They have also intervened in the nuclear crisis between North Korea and the U.S. While Russia does not recognize North Korea's self-proclaimed right to develop nuclear weapons to deter a U.

S. invasion, Moscow has used its enhanced diplomatic clout to assert that U.S. military action "is not an option," despite Trump's threats to use it against Kim's regime. Trump has also alleged that North Korea is working with a fellow U.S.-designated state sponsor of terrorism, Iran, to develop ballistic missile technology. Meanwhile, another major Cold War player is seeking to rekindle ties with forces aligned against the U.

S. Like Iran, Cuba was approached by the administration of President Barack Obama for historical talks that claimed several successes that have since been overturned by Trump. With little room for negotiation with the U.S., the communist island in Florida's backyard has sought to rekindle relations with Russia, according to German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, and has stood firmly behind Syria and North Korea.

North Korean and Cuban officials met last week to strengthen ties. Both countries suffer from harsh U.S. economic sanctions intended to destabilize their respective governments.

Wilma Lawrence

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