April 25, 2018

Moscow: Lavrov, Tillerson Discuss Need For Urgent NKorea Negotiations

30 December 2017, 12:54 | Rufus Hill

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

Russian Federation on Tuesday indicated that it was ready to mediate between the United States and North Korea to reduce escalating tensions, if asked to.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday urged the United States and North Korea to start a dialogue and said the U.S. should make the first move.

"Both sides agreed that they will continue to work toward a diplomatic solution to achieve a denuclearized Korean peninsula", she added.

We asked if you thought Washington's rhetoric had heightened tension on the Korean peninsular. North Korea claims the missile is capable of delivering nuclear warheads anywhere in the continental United States.

Lavrov disagreed with USA threats of military intervention and further sanctions against North Korea, instead pushing for US diplomacy to seek a more peaceful approach to negotiations, the statement said.

On December 22, the UN Security Council unanimously approved new sanctions on North Korea in response to last month's launch of a ballistic missile that Pyongyang says is capable of reaching anywhere on the US mainland.

Nauert's comments come one day after Reuters reported Lavrov ripped Tillerson for his "aggressive" remarks on North Korea during the call.

North Korea this year conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test and a series of ballistic missile launches, including the November 29 test of a new intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching anywhere in the US.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called for Washington and Pyongyang to start negotiations, saying Russian Federation was ready to facilitate such talks.

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley called the latest sanctions as the "toughest yet" as they were aimed to further restrict energy supplies, tighten restrictions on smuggling and the use of North Korean workers overseas.

Tillerson's rhetoric appears to have been reflected in US policy as well.

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