Question: Many American political scientists say that the DPRK is one of those issues that could help Russia and the United States to start building their relations anew. What do you think about this view?
Sergey Ryabkov: We are very concerned over the lack of a political and diplomatic solution to this issue, which has been the case for a long time. We are next-door neighbours and this is one of the main factors of Russia’s attention to this issue. Given US political will, we can achieve much together. We have certain ideas that are formulated in a specific plan that we shared with other participants in this process. We propose that the United States renounce the vicious logic of escalation, when a step by one side is followed by a counter step of the other side, which is supposed to bring more pressure on the opposite side. As a result, tensions are spiralling and it is very hard to stop this process. Therefore, it is necessary primarily to freeze the status quo at some point and then reduce tensions step by step and intensify the search for political solutions. Diplomats, including our American colleagues, know this method very well. We are urging them to join these efforts, although we understand that considering the campaign to demonise the DPRK, which has been going on for many years, the Americans will find it difficult to give up this logic of pressure. But there is no alternative to this method. The pressure may eventually burst and cause a clash. This would be a disaster for this region, which is so significant for us all.