You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myStatesman.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myStatesman.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myStatesman.com.

Putin's TV says Trump more dangerous than N. Korea's Kim

The Kremlin's top TV mouthpiece declares Donald Trump the world leader most likely to usher in world war


  Russian state television has no doubt who is unpredictable enough to bring the world to war in the North Korean crisis, and it's not the reclusive communist dictator Kim Jong-Un. 

 According to Dmitry Kiselyov, the Kremlin's top TV mouthpiece, the riskiest is Donald Trump, the man Russian officials and propagandists hailed just a few weeks ago as just the kind of leader the world needed. 

 In the latest sign of the Kremlin's abrupt about-face on its erstwhile American hero, Kiselyov pronounced Trump "more dangerous" than his North Korean counterpart. "Trump is more impulsive and unpredictable than Kim Jong Un," he told viewers of his prime-time Sunday "Vesti Nedelyi" program, which earlier this year carried paeans to Trump for his pledge to warm up relations with Russia. 

 Kisleyov and his colleagues on other channels also went after Trump's family, noting that Kim hadn't given his four-year-old daughter an office in his residence, in contrast to Trump's appointment of his 35-year-old daughter, Ivanka, to a White House role. 

 'A very risky course of action’

Russian officials aren't so harsh in public. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Monday urged the U.S. to avoid any unilateral use of force against North Korea, warning this would be "a very risky course of action" and comparing it to the U.S. missile strike earlier this month on Syria, which Moscow denounced as aggression. Lavrov spoke after U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said "the era of strategic patience is over," while on a visit to the demilitarized zone between South and North Korea Monday. 

 While Russia condemns the "brinkmanship'' of the ballistic missile tests by the isolated Communist state in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions, this doesn't justify breaking international law, Lavrov said. "So I really hope that the same unilateral actions we saw in Syria won't happen." Russia maintains close ties to North Korea, with which it shares a border, but isn't an ally to the regime like China. 

Trump’s retaliation in Syria fueling distrust 

The U.S. attack in Syria, against Russian ally President Bashar Assad, fueled deepening disillusionment in the Kremlin with the Trump Administration. State media, whose messages are closely controlled by senior officials, are a bellwether of the shift.  

"Ivanka already convinced Trump to bomb Assad, what if she convinces him to bomb Kim," warned NTV's main newscaster, Irada Zeynalova.  

A highly anticipated visit by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Moscow last week — the first by a top official of the new administration — did little to reassure the Russian leadership. 

'Hair's breadth away from nuclear war’

"The world is a hair's breadth away from a real nuclear war with all its catastrophic consequences," Kiselyov warned his viewers. Other state-TV presenters offered a ray of hope for Russians, pointing out that the radioactive fallout from a possible conflict on the Korean Peninsula likely would be carried eastward by prevailing winds, away from Russia. 

 Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to comment on whether Kiselyov's view reflected official policy, saying only that "it's usually close, though not every time." The Kremlin called for all sides to "show restraint" and not take actions that could be perceived as "provocative." 

 Kiselyov is known for sometimes extreme statements, such as when he warned that Russia could turn the U.S. into "radioactive ash." 

Honeymoon with Trump officially over

The message of disappointment with Trump has been building on state media for several weeks. A survey conducted by the state-run pollster VTsIOM released Monday found that 39 percent of Russians hold a negative opinion of Trump, versus only 7 percent in March. 

 In a sign of the tensions, Lavrov lashed out at U.S. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster for saying the Trump administration will have "tough discussions" with Russia. The top Russian diplomat said Moscow won't pay attention to the words of an adviser since Trump has said he's committed to dialogue. 

 McMaster, who replaced the Kremlin-friendly Mike Flynn after his ouster over undisclosed Russia contacts, praised China's unprecedented decision not to join Russia in vetoing a U.N. Security Council resolution on Syria last week that demanded Assad cooperate with an investigation. President Xi Jinping was "courageous" in isolating the Russians and Bolivians, who also voted against the measure, the security adviser said on ABC television on Sunday.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Politics

Texas House to tackle lackluster inspections of farmworker housing

The House Committee on Urban Affairs on Tuesday will examine the state’s unfunded inspection program for farmworker housing, which a 2016 American-Statesman investigation found fails to ensure licensed housing for the vast majority of the state’s farmworkers. The committee is scheduled to take up HB 2365, filed by State Rep. Ramon Romero...
Ivanka Trump goes to Berlin as Merkel seeks bond with White House
Ivanka Trump goes to Berlin as Merkel seeks bond with White House

One is a 62-year-old former physicist who grew up in a Lutheran parish house in East Germany. The other is a businesswoman whose billionaire property-developer father brought her from Manhattan to the White House.  While Angela Merkel and Ivanka Trump don't have a lot in common, Germany's chancellor is seeking out President Donald Trump's daughter...
Russian hackers who targeted Clinton appear to attack French candidate Macron
Russian hackers who targeted Clinton appear to attack French candidate Macron

  The campaign of the French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron has been targeted by what appears to be the same Russian operatives responsible for hacks of Democratic campaign officials before last year’s U.S. presidential election, a cybersecurity firm has warned in a new report.   The report has heightened concerns...
Sessions vows to enforce bribery law that Trump once called 'horrible'
Sessions vows to enforce bribery law that Trump once called 'horrible'

Attorney General Jeff Sessions vowed Monday that the Trump administration would vigorously prosecute white-collar crime amid concerns that such cases would fall by the wayside in favor of high-profile priorities such as violent crime and illegal immigration.   Sessions affirmed the department’s commitment to prosecutions under the Foreign...
State Department website touts glittering history of Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate 
State Department website touts glittering history of Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate 

A State Department website that promotes travel to the United States included an article this month about the history and lavish furnishings of President Donald Trump's privately-owned Florida resort club Mar-a-Lago, opening questions about whether the federal government is improperly promoting Trump's moneymaking enterprises.   Sen. Ron...
More Stories