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  • U.S. President Donald Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, in Panmunjom, South Korea, June 30, 2019

    U.S. President Donald Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, in Panmunjom, South Korea, June 30, 2019 | Photo: Reuters

Published 20 August 2019

“It is simply not possible to prepare for such tests in a few weeks or a few months. This ...shows that it was not Russia, but the United States with its actions that brought the breakdown of the INF."

The United States is stoking military tensions with their latest ground-launched cruise missile test, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

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The Kremlin said the U.S. missile test revealed Washington had long been preparing to exit the nuclear pact. The U.S. previously accused Russia of violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), which was established during the Cold War.

The United States formally withdrew from the Cold War-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty ​​​​​​with Russia on Aug. 2 after accusing Moscow of violating it, a charge dismissed by the Kremlin.

The Pentagon said on Monday it had tested a conventionally-configured cruise missile that hit its target after more than 500 km (310 miles) of flight, its first such test since the demise of a landmark nuclear pact this month.

The text would have been banned under the INF, which prohibited land-based missiles with a range of between 310 and 3,400 miles, reducing the ability of both countries to launch a nuclear strike at short notice.

Washington had “obviously taken the course of escalating military tensions,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said

Russia would, however, not allow itself “to be pulled into a costly arms race” and did not plan to deploy new missiles unless the United States did so first, he was quoted as saying by TASS news agency.

The Kremlin said the U.S. missile test showed that Washington had long been preparing to exit the nuclear pact.

“It is simply not possible to prepare for such tests in a few weeks or a few months. This ...shows that it was not Russia, but the United States with its actions that brought the breakdown of the INF,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

China also expressed concern.

In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the test showed the United States was stoking a new arms race and confrontation, which would have a serious negative impact on regional and global security.

“We advise the U.S. side to abandon outdated notions of Cold War thinking and zero-sum games, and exercise restraint in developing arms,” Geng told a daily news briefing.

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