The Korean Peninsula has been the site of an ongoing geopolitical crisis since April 2017, when Pyongyang test-launched an intermediate range ballistic missile and Washington responded by beginning a military buildup that has lasted through the rest of 2017.

The situation on the Korean Peninsula is characterized by an unprecedented level of tension, there is a growing danger of sliding toward an unprovoked conflict, Russian Ambassador-at-Large Oleg Burmistrov told Sputnik Thursday.

“The situation on the Korean Peninsula is characterized by an unprecedented level of tension, there is a growing danger of slipping into an armed conflict, unprovoked, but which may begin due to accidental circumstances,” Burmistrov said.

The ambassador noted that in North-East Asia “so many various weapons have been accumulated, that in itself it [the region] is a powder keg.”

The ambassador noted that the implementation of a military option by the US against North Korea to solve the situation will lead to a catastrophe of an unprecedented scale, since this region is the most militarized in the world.

“As for whether there are any other plans for solving the problem of the Korean Peninsula, then yes, they are. For example, there is a so-called military option in the United States. This, of course, is not a document, but everyone has repeatedly heard from the US officials that a military option exists, although it is not a priority. The phrase is subject to various reservations, but nevertheless, the military option, as a solution to the problems of the peninsula, exists in the minds of the US elite, and we cannot ignore it as well,” the ambassador said, adding that the outcome of such an option would be a catastrophe of an unprecedented scale.

Speaking further, Burmistrov noted that the drills conducted by the US in the region provoked North Korea to continue missile and nuclear tests, thus leading to a complete economic blockade of the country.

“It seems like the US not just playing with fire, but intentionally provoke North Korea to take steps that can lead to further sanctions against Pyongyang and total economic blockade of the country,” the ambassador said.

North Korea has not halted their missile tests in the face of significant international pressure, most recently testing a long-range ballistic missile in late November, claiming that its only guarantee of safety is the ability to respond to any nuclear attack in kind. Its latest missile is claimed to be capable of striking anywhere in the United States.