Russian propagandist praises North Korea’s nuclear threats against US

Russian state TV host Sergei Mardan praised North Korea for threatening to use nuclear weapons against the United States during a Friday night broadcast amid the Ukraine war.

After Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine last February, pundits on state television have repeatedly ridiculed the West, which has largely condemned Moscow’s military actions, over the possible use of nuclear weapons that could sharply escalate the conflict between the two Eastern European nations would.

The latest nuclear comments came on Friday night as Mardan hailed North Korea for its “independence” in global affairs, as well as nuclear threats from its President Kim Jong-un. Video of the discussion was posted to Twitter by BBC journalist Francis Scarr on Saturday morning.

“For them, independence is an absolute value for which they are willing to do anything, including turning the whole world to dust,” Mardan said. “That is, as King Jong-un said back when Trump was still president, if you move your aircraft carriers towards the coast of North Korea, we will … hit you with a nuclear bomb.”

North Korea has long touted its nuclear weapons capability. Regarded as a pariah state in global diplomacy, its officials have at times used inflammatory rhetoric in relation to its nuclear program. The country has also conducted several nuclear tests off its coast, raising the eyebrows of the international community.

However, Mardan praised this rhetoric, describing it as a success for North Korean independence.

“They all turned back and knew him [Kim Jong-un] wasn’t lying – that he was really going to… beat her up with a nuclear bomb. You can’t mess around at all,” he said.

While Western leaders have condemned Putin’s invasion – citing an apparent lack of justification and alleged human rights violations – Mardan added that most Russians believe Moscow should use similar nuclear threats to limit Western influence in Russia’s international affairs to deter.

Putin propagandist praises North Korea's nuclear threats
People watch a North Korean nuclear test in Seoul on January 1, 2020. Inset, Russian President Vladimir Putin. A Russian state television propagandist on Friday praised North Korea for its nuclear threats against the United States.
JUNG Yeon-je/AFP via Getty Images; Contributor/Getty Images

“And the thing is, most of our country thinks the same way. They agree with that approach and they’re not willing to compromise,” he said.

Alicia Sanders-Zakre, policy and research coordinator for the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, said news week on Saturday that nuclear threats should never be celebrated.

“The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is the only international treaty that expressly prohibits all nuclear threats, and in the face of Russian threats, in June 2022, States parties issued an unequivocal condemnation of nuclear threats. Countries serious about condemning nuclear threats should immediately join the TPNW and strengthen the norm against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons,” Sanders-Zakre wrote.

What Russian State TV recently said about nuclear weapons

In the months following the invasion, the Kremlin cracked down on the free press in Russia, with state television essentially serving as Putin’s propaganda machine. The hosts have offered different, sometimes ominous, perspectives on the use of nuclear weapons.

Last month, Russian state TV presenter Vladimir Solovyov quarreled with a guest over the possible use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine. The Putin ally said the “demonstrative” use of a nuclear weapon would turn the war in Russia’s favor in response to France’s promise to send light tanks to Ukraine’s military. However, Evgeny Buzhinsky, a military expert, said it would lead to a “global catastrophe”.

Last month, Solovyov threatened that the West would be “burned to ashes” if Ukraine won the war.

news week has asked the Russian Foreign Ministry for an opinion. Russian propagandist praises North Korea’s nuclear threats against US

Rick Schindler

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