Russian Minister Urges US, N. Korea to Start Talks

Elias Hubbard
December 26, 2017

Lavrov says Moscow has asked Washington in confidential conversations if it realizes that US allies South Korea and Japan would suffer the most if the North's nuclear missile tests provoke a military conflict.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has urged the United States and North Korea to start negotiations amid growing tensions over Pyongyang's nuclear programme.

China called for restraint Monday, with Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying saying that nations should "make positive and constructive efforts to de-escalate tensions" on the Korean Peninsula.

Speaking in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the resolution appropriately strengthened sanctions but was not created to affect ordinary people, normal economic exchanges and cooperation, or humanitarian aid.

The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved a resolution Friday limiting the amount of gasoline and diesel North Korea can import and tightening inspections of ships suspected of illegally carrying banned items to or from North Korea.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's government has conducted several missile tests this year, which have drawn condemnation from the worldwide community.

In another interview with Russia's state-funded RT network, the minister reaffirmed Russia's opposition to attempts to seek a complete economic blockade on North Korea.

The United States estimates as many as 80,000 North Koreans work in China and at least 30,000 in Russian Federation. "We have begun forming a permanent presence there", he said.

North Korea said it is a "pipe dream" for the United States to think it will give up its nuclear weapons.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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