Explained: Why Putin is staying away from G20

19 days ago Times of India

The other side's position is also well known," said Lukyanov, editor of the Russia in Global Affairs journal. "In Putin's view, his refusal to go to the G20 summit will not prevent Russia from building relations with neutral states," said Tatiana Stanovaya, the founder of R.Politik, a political analysis firm. "Putin believes that Russia's anti-American line is finding a lot of support. "The Kremlin insists that Russia is far from isolated, and Stanovaya pointed out that Putin has been seeking allies in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. "He is trying to build an anti-Western coalition," she said.Many political observers are sceptical that the Kremlin chief will succeed.
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North Korea threatens to use nuke over South Korea-US drills

SEOUL: North Korea issued a veiled threat Tuesday to use nuclear weapons to get the US and South Korea to “pay the most horrible price in history," an escalation of its fiery rhetoric targeting the ongoing large-scale military drills between its rivals.Animosities on the Korean Peninsula have been running high in recent months, with North Korea testing a string of nuclear-capable missiles and adopting a law authorizing the preemptive use of its nuclear weapons in a broad range of situations. Some experts still doubt North Korea could use nuclear weapons first in the face of more superior US and South Korean forces.North Korea has argued its recent weapons tests were meant to issue a warning to Washington and Seoul over their series of joint military drills that it views as an invasion rehearsal, including this week’s exercises involving about 240 warplanes.Pak Jong Chon , a secretary of the ruling Workers’ Party who is considered a close confidant of leader Kim Jong Un , called the so-called “Vigilant Storm” air force drills “aggressive and provocative.”Pak also accused the Pentagon of formulating a North Korean regime collapse as a major policy objective in an apparent reference to the Pentagon’s recently released National Defense Strategy report. The report stated any nuclear attack by North Korea against the United States or its allies and partners “will result in the end of that regime.”He slammed South Korean military leaders over what he called “rubbish” comments that threatened to destroy North Korea if it uses nuclear weapons. South Korea’s military has warned North Korea that using its nuclear weapons would put it on a “path of self-destruction.”“If the US and South Korea attempt to use armed forces against (North Korea) without any fear, the special means of the (North’s) armed forces will carry out their strategic mission without delay,” Pak said, in an apparent reference to his country’s nuclear weapons.“The US and South Korea will have to face a terrible case and pay the most horrible price in history,” he said.US and South Korean officials have steadfastly said their drills are defensive in nature and that they have no intentions of attacking North Korea.Pak’s statement is the North’s second warning to the United States and South Korea this week. On Monday, the North’s Foreign Ministry warned of “more powerful follow-up measures” in response to its rivals' air force drills.South Korean officials have said North Korea could up the ante in coming weeks by detonating its first nuclear test device since September 2017, which could possibly take the country a step closer to its goals of building a full-fledged nuclear arsenal capable of threatening regional U.S. allies and the American mainland.Some experts say North Korea would eventually want to use its expanded nuclear arsenal as a leverage in future negotiations with the United States to win sanctions relief and other concessions.

1 month ago Times of India
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