Russia’s military chief, Gen. Valery Gerasimov, warned Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera in Tokyo on Monday that military exercises conducted by the United States around the Korean Peninsula will destabilize the region.
The visit to Japan by the chief of staff of the Russian armed forces came as the United States and South Korea implemented last week what the South Korean military billed as their “largest-ever” air exercise.
Japan, the United States and South Korea also began a joint missile-tracking exercise Monday in waters near the Korean Peninsula and Japan, the sixth of its kind, to address the growing North Korean missile threat.
Apparently with such exercises in mind, Gerasimov told Onodera at the outset of their talks, “Exercises in surrounding areas would increase tension and bring instability.”
Onodera sought Russia’s cooperation in dealing with North Korea’s nuclear and missile provocations, saying Moscow has “big clout” with North Korea.