Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat :

Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : Kremlin Says NATO Chief’s Nuclear Weapons Remarks Are an Escalation

 NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg addresses a media conference after a meeting of NATO defense ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP)
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg addresses a media conference after a meeting of NATO defense ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP)
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Kremlin Says NATO Chief’s Nuclear Weapons Remarks Are an Escalation

 NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg addresses a media conference after a meeting of NATO defense ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP)
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg addresses a media conference after a meeting of NATO defense ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP)

The Kremlin said on Monday that NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg's remarks about talks on deploying more nuclear weapons were an escalation.

NATO is in talks to deploy more nuclear weapons, taking them out of storage and placing them on standby, in the face of a growing threat from Russia and China, Stoltenberg told The Telegraph newspaper.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Stoltenberg's comments appeared to contradict the communique of the Ukraine Conference that said any threat or use of nuclear weapons in the Ukraine context was inadmissible.

"This is nothing but another escalation of tension," Peskov said of the Stoltenberg remarks.

Russia says the United States and its European allies are pushing the world to the brink of nuclear confrontation by giving Ukraine billions of dollars worth of weapons, some of which are being used against Russian territory.

Russia and the United States are by far the world's biggest nuclear powers, holding about 88% of the world's nuclear weapons, according to the Federation of American Scientists.

The United States has about 100 non-strategic B61 nuclear weapons deployed in five European countries - Italy, Germany, Türkiye, Belgium and the Netherlands, according to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. The US has another 100 such weapons within its borders.

Russia has about 1,558 non-strategic nuclear warheads, though arms control experts say it is very difficult to say just how many there are due to secrecy.



Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : North Korea Warns of 'Devastating Consequences' over Leaflets from South

A jeweller shows a gold bar at his shop in downtown Kuwait City on May 20, 2024. (Photo by YASSER AL-ZAYYAT / AFP)
A jeweller shows a gold bar at his shop in downtown Kuwait City on May 20, 2024. (Photo by YASSER AL-ZAYYAT / AFP)
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North Korea Warns of 'Devastating Consequences' over Leaflets from South

A jeweller shows a gold bar at his shop in downtown Kuwait City on May 20, 2024. (Photo by YASSER AL-ZAYYAT / AFP)
A jeweller shows a gold bar at his shop in downtown Kuwait City on May 20, 2024. (Photo by YASSER AL-ZAYYAT / AFP)

North Korea said on Tuesday that South Korea will face "devastating consequences" over anti-Pyongyang leaflets, state media KCNA said.

Kim Yo Jong, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's powerful sister and a senior party official, said large balloons carrying anti-Pyongyang leaflets from South Korea were found in her country, causing inconvenience to residents, Reuters reported.

"The situation seemed to be becoming unacceptable. Again I give you a stern warning," she said in a statement carried by KCNA.