Saturday, November 18, 2017 | ePaper

North Korea`s `reckless behaviour` requires global response: NATO chief

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Estonia's Prime Minister Juri Ratas listens to the speech by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg during a visit to the NATO battle group soldiers at Tapa Army Base, in Estonia.

Reuters, London :
North Korea's "reckless behavior" is a global threat and requires a global response, the head of the NATO military alliance said on Sunday.
NATO is not directly involved in the crisis, which saw Pyongyang carry out its sixth and most powerful nuclear test a week ago, but has repeatedly called on North Korea to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
"The reckless behavior of North Korea is a global threat and requires a global response and that of course also includes NATO," NATO head Jens Stoltenberg said in an interview with BBC television.
Stoltenberg declined to say whether the U.S. territory of Guam, threatened by North Korea, was covered by NATO's Article 5, which says an attack on one member is an attack on all. "We are now totally focused on how can we contribute to a peaceful solution of the conflict," he said.
British defense minister Michael Fallon also told the BBC military conflict should be avoided at all costs.
Newsweek adds: With North Korea's nuclear ambition, Islamist extremism and Russia's military dreams of recapturing Soviet prestige in world politics, the world is at its most dangerous point in a generation, NATO's top diplomat has warned.
Jens Stoltenberg, a former prime minister of Norway and now NATO's secretary general, told The Guardian he has not known a more precarious time in his 30-year career.
"It is more unpredictable, and it's more difficult because we have so many challenges at the same time," he said in an exclusive interview. "We have proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in North Korea, we have terrorists, instability, and we have a more assertive Russia," Stoltenberg said on the sidelines of his visit to Estonia. "It is a more dangerous world."
Estonia and its fellow Baltics, Latvia and Lithuania, are some of the NATO members most concerned by Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. The event triggered a fallout in relations between Russia and the West from which there has yet to be recovery.
NATO has formed four multinational battalions to the region and a mission of fewer than a dozen jets to keep an eye out for any potential Russian incursions. Russia has accused the alliance of carrying out aggressive action and will this month participate in simulated warfare in bordering Belarus.
Russia has long claimed that the drill, which it occurs once every four years, will only involve 13,000 troops. But a handful of NATO allies have expressed serious doubt that this will be the case, especially since Moscow has a track record of expanding the scope of such drills through chicanery.
"Russia has said it is below 13,000. They briefed that on the NATO-Russia council a few weeks ago," Stoltenberg said. "That was useful, but at the same time, we have seen when Russia says that an exercise has less than 13,000 troops that's not always the case.

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