Russian Federation urges US-North Korea talks over nuclear crisis

Geneva Matthews
December 27, 2017

Camera IconDonald Trump might get a helping hand from Russian Federation on North Korea.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says he is "united in opinion" with his USA counterpart Rex Tillerson on the issue of North Korea but that they differ on how to resolve the crisis over Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program.

Russia's call for dialogue comes after the 15-member UN Security Council unanimously voted on Friday to impose tough new sanctions on North Korea in response to its latest missile test on November 29.

Though US diplomats have said they are pursuing a diplomatic solution, President Donald Trump has said Pyongyang must commit to giving up its nuclear weapons before any talks can begin. North Korean officials said that the test put United States within the range of its ICBM. The UN resolution seeks to ban almost 90 per cent of refined petroleum exports to North Korea by capping them at 500,000 barrels a year.

Russia, which now talks of mediating the negotiations between the United States and North Korea, supported the sanctions in the UN.

"We firmly believe that not only North Korea, but also the United States, as well as their allies, should refrain from any steps that could provoke a crisis, and finally launch the negotiation process", he said.

The new sanctions include sharply cutting limits on North Korea's imports of refined oil and orders the repatriation of all North Korean nationals working overseas by the end of 2019.

The Ministry of Defence said it would assign four units to operate under a new official overseeing North Korea policy, aimed to "deter and respond to North Korea's nuclear and missile threat".

'Countermeasures will be orchestrated to deal with the effects, including cuts in trade volume and foreign currency inflow, lack of supplies, and reduced production in each part of the economy, ' the report said.

Russian Federation and China on Monday sought for a peaceful resolution to the tensions surrounding North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile activity.

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