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Putin’s Nuclear Threats Rattle Global Security: US and China React

Russia Ready for Nuclear War
Possible Request for 2 Million North Korean Troop Assistance
The U.S. and China Criticize Putin Strongly

Source: News1

The world is paying close attention to a statement made by Russian President Vladimir Putin on the 13th (local time). Putin suggested that the use of nuclear weapons is possible if the nation’s existence is threatened, presumably due to the ongoing war with Ukraine. The U.S. White House responded, “Putin’s recent nuclear remarks are reckless and irresponsible,” expressing concern.

Russia is preparing for a presidential election from March 15 to 17. President Putin gave an interview with local broadcasters Rossiya 1 and RIA Novosti for his campaign. When asked if Russia is currently prepared for nuclear war, Putin responded, “Technically, Russia is ready with nuclear weapons,” showing a hard-line stance prepared for nuclear war.

He concluded the interview by saying that “there hasn’t been a situation yet where it (nuclear weapons) would be necessary,” perhaps about the United States and other Western powers. Putin’s statement can be interpreted as a warning that a nuclear war could break out at any time, though it’s unlikely the current war in Ukraine will escalate into a nuclear war. Furthermore, Putin continued his threatening and provocative rhetoric, stating that while the U.S. produces all components of its nuclear weapons domestically, it is not prepared to start a “nuclear war tomorrow.”

News1

He also emphasized that if U.S. troops were deployed to assist Ukraine, they would be considered “interferers” and treated accordingly. He also stirred international confusion by stating that a nuclear war is always possible if there is intervention from other countries besides the U.S.

Since last year, 2023, Russia and North Korea have maintained a close relationship. Russia mentioned that North Korea has its own “nuclear umbrella.” The nuclear umbrella refers to a nuclear-armed country’s self-protection and defense by possessing nuclear weapons. Putin’s remarks suggest that Russia-North Korea cooperation will continue in 2024.

As an example of Western support for Ukraine, Putin said, “It’s an unusual solution, but we could ask for help from 2 million North Korean troops” and “In return for North Korea’s assistance, we could provide North Korea with Russia’s nuclear umbrella.” He continued his threatening remarks, showing the cooperation between Russia and North Korea to the outside world. He added that North Korea has not yet requested anything from Russia, indicating that such situations would not quickly occur.

Source: News1

In response to the nuclear-related interview, the United States issued a statement criticizing Putin’s nuclear threat remarks.

Adrienne Watson, a spokesperson for the White House National Security Council (NSC), said, “It is Russia that brutally and mercilessly invaded Ukraine, which did not provoke, without a reason to attack,” and “The U.S. government will continue to support and back Ukraine in protecting its citizens and territory from Russia’s invasion.”

Another White House official told Reuters, “Putin seems to have reaffirmed the ‘Russian nuclear doctrine’ of using nuclear weapons if its sovereignty is threatened,” and “The U.S. has not found any signs that Russia is preparing to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine,” suggesting that Putin made the remarks to gain support.

Source: News1

Putin’s “nuclear” remarks also stirred a continent of 1.4 billion Chinese.

On March 13, Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, criticized Putin’s remarks during a regular briefing. The spokesperson said, “In January 2022, Russian leader Putin pointed out that there can be no winners in a nuclear war and that a nuclear war should not occur,” reminding of Putin’s past remarks. China stated Putin’s attitude, which is contrary to his statement two years ago that a “nuclear war” should not occur.

Wang continued, “All nuclear powers should uphold the ideology of common security in the world and not act contrary to the situation in which they are striving to safeguard the strategic balance and stability of the world order,” Wang said, reiterating “statement on the prevention of nuclear war.

News1

Meanwhile, Putin, dubbed a “modern-day Tsar” as he runs for his fifth term, is widely expected to win the presidency again as he virtually has no competitors. Besides Putin, there are three more presidential candidates, but they are said to be formal competitors as they don’t even have 10% support.

According to Reuters, “More than 75% of respondents in a February poll on whether or not to vote for Putin said they would vote for him.” In a pro-government Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) poll, Putin’s expected vote share was 82%. If elected, as predicted by Reuters and VCIOM, Putin will gain significant power with a higher vote share than before. In the last presidential election in 2018, Putin won with a staggering 76.89% of the vote, but this year’s outcome could be even higher, drawing a lot of attention inside and outside Russia.

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