Russian troop movements near the North Korean border are part of planned exercises and are not linked to escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula, a military spokesman in the Russian Far East said on April 21.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov had declined to comment earlier in the day on videos aired by local media and YouTube showing numerous tanks and missiles being carried on a freight train in the Primorye region, which borders North Korea.
Local media quoted residents as saying they feared a possible nuclear exchange between the United States and North Korea could have spillover effects on their region.
But Aleksandr Gordeyev, the official spokesman for Russia's Eastern Military District, told Russian media the military activity was nothing out of the ordinary but was part of planned exercises.
"These are totally scheduled military training events, which have no relation to political matters," Gordeyev told Interfax, adding that the drills occur every year.
Gordeyev said the final round of combat drills began on April 3 and will be over on April 29 and that the troops and equipment will soon return to their home bases.