MOSCOW, Russia - As tensions on the Korean Peninsula intensify, now Russia’s joining the game of threats - by deploying its troops to its border with North Korea.
Controversy broke out earlier this week as America’s proclaimed strike group, led by aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, that was apparently deployed to be sent to the Korean peninsula over two weeks back was revealed to actually be engaged in joint drills in Australia.
As America continued to repeat its warning to North Korea, urging it to not engage in strikes - China, fearing a pre-emptive strike on North Korea and assuming a refugee situation might arise, deployed about 150,000 troops to its southern frontier with North Korea.
Now, joining the fray, Russian President Vladimir Putin is said to have sent troops to the country’s 11-mile border with North Korea.
The country is fearing Trump will attack Kim Jong Un, triggering a tidal wave of refugees.
Both China and Russia fear a mass exodus of North Korean refugees if eventually a war breaks out.
On Wednesday, Russia blocked UN Security Council condemnation of Pyongyang's latest missile test.
North Korea’s only regional ally, China meanwhile backed the strongly-worded statement put forward by the United States.
The proposed statement demands that North Korea “conduct no further nuclear tests” and halt missile launches.
According to council diplomats, Russia argued that it should have contained language used in a previous statement that stresses the need to achieve a solution through dialogue.
In a statement, Moscow's deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said, “Unfortunately, we have to admit that the risk of a serious conflict in this region has substantially increased.”
He called for a “demonstration of responsibility” from all sides to avoid escalation.
Meanwhile, in the face of possible military action against North Korea - that America has already threatened - on Thursday, a footage showing Putin reinforcing his border with North Korea by relocating troops and equipment emerged.
The video shows one of the three trains being sent to the frontier, loaded with military equipment.
Another video highlights military helicopter movements towards the North Korean border and manoeuvres across the rough terrain by army combat vehicles.
A news report also emerged, suggesting that there have been military moves by road as well.
Russia reportedly fears that if a conflict breaks out, the country could face a humanitarian exodus from North Korea.
The country’s president, Putin too warned that in the event of a U.S. strike on Kim Jong Un's nuclear facilities, contamination could swiftly reach Russia.
A report in primemedia.ru noted, “Railway trains loaded with military equipment moving towards Primorsky region via Khabarovsk have been noticed by locals in the Russian far East.”
While the Russian military spokesman Alexander Gordeyev has declined to give the exact reasons for the troop and equipment movements - he said exercises had recently ended in the TransBaikal region of Siberia.
Meanwhile, a military veteran Stanislva Sinitsyn said, “The movement of military equipment by different means of transport to southern areas is being observed across Primorsky region over the past week. Many relate this to the situation in the Korean peninsula. The video shows artillery systems that either support troops in assault or meet the aggressor.”
Further, Sinitsyn added, “The movement of military equipment means that authorities of our country are keeping up with the situation - and take appropriate measures. The movements were a preventive but necessary measure. If the situation worsens, especially related to military events, the armed forces of all the neighbouring countries obviously monitor it more closely, and we are no exception. It is not the first time that North Korea has broken the peace in the region, that's why this situation deserves attention.”
Russian has a huge military presence at the naval port of Vladivostok, which is less than 100 miles from North Korea.
Konstantin Asmolov, a North Korean expert from the Russian Far Eastern Institute was quoted as saying, “Should the U.S. strike with missiles at North Korea's nuclear facilities, a radioactive cloud will reach Vladivostok within two hours.”
Asmolov further warned that in the event of full-scale war “hungry asylum seekers will flood into Russia.”