Head of Nato says world is more dangerous now than it has been for a generation, with terror, Russia and North Korea creating global unpredictability

Saturday, September 9, 2017
By Paul Martin

Jens Stoltenberg warned the world is more dangerous now than for a generation
He blamed terrorism, the North Korea nuclear crisis and Vladimir Putin’s Russia
Next week Russia will carry out its ‘largest military exercise since the Cold War’

8 September 2017

The world is more dangerous now than it has been for a generation, the head of Nato has said.

Jens Stoltenberg said terrorism, the crisis in North Korea and a newly-belligerent Russia under Vladimir Putin meant the political situation was more unpredictable than at any time in the past 30 years.

‘It is a more dangerous world,’ he told The Guardian.

‘We have proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in North Korea, we have terrorists, instability, and we have a more assertive Russia.’

The secretary-general’s intervention, during a break from visiting British troops in Estonia, comes before the mobilisation of an estimated 100,000 Russian troops on the EU’s eastern borders.

Asked whether he had known a more perilous time in his 30-year career, Stoltenberg said: ‘It is more unpredictable, and it’s more difficult because we have so many challenges at the same time.’

From next Thursday, over six days, Russian and Belarusian troops will take part in what is likely to be Moscow’s largest military exercise since the Cold War.

An estimated 100,000 personnel will be active around the Baltic Sea, western Russia and Belarus without the supervision required under international agreement.

Meanwhile, North Korea has launched a ballistic missile over Japan, threatened the US Pacific territory of Guam and has tested a possible thermonuclear device, incurring the wrath of Donald Trump.

Mr Stoltenberg, the former prime minister of Norway, would not comment on whether the US President’s bellicose threats to Pyongyang had exacerbated the current situation in south-east Asia.

He said: ‘I think the important thing now is to look into how we can create a situation where we can find a political solution to the crisis.

‘At the same time I fully understand and support the military message that has been implemented in the region… as they have the right to defend themselves.

‘They have a right to respond when they see these very aggressive actions. I also support the presence of US troops and capabilities in Korea.’

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