One day after Russia Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov attempted to claim credit for the lull in North Korean ballistic missile tests in recent weeks, North Korea launched its most powerful ballistic missile to date. One day after that, Russia’s Foreign Ministry attempted to blame the United States for the launch, citing America’s military presence in the region.
Today, against the backdrop of constant military activity by the United States and its allies in the region around the Korean Peninsula over the last few months, it is particularly important that the involved parties not provoke each other, but rather display restraint and avoid any new actions that could lead to the further escalation of tensions.” A statement on Russia’s Foreign Ministry website reads.
Earlier this week, Russia claimed the lull in testing was the result of the Chinese championed strategy of a mutual freeze of military aggression by both North Korea and the United States, and accused the U.S. of worsening relations by not following suit. The test of an entirely new North Korean ballistic missile platform, the Hwasong 15, confirms that Russia was either lying about North Korea’s intentions, or were utterly ignorant of them, and chose to advance a narrative of their own fabrication that painted the U.S. in an intentionally negative light.
The supposition that Wednesday’s launch of this new platform was spurred by American drills in the Pacific throughout that 10-week lull is also fundamentally flawed, as the development of the platform, which is currently believed to have been a modified and improved Hwasong-14, must have been ongoing for months, if not years, prior to the test. Russia, however, continues to attempt to mold the narrative in a manner that suits them, allocating more of their statement to calling on the U.S. and South Korea to halt military exercises, than to calling on Kim’s North Korean regime to end further ballistic missile testing.