Russia pours scorn on US' call to cut ties with North Korea

Kim Jong Nam arrives at Beijing airport in Beijing China in this

"We have never sought war with North Korea, and still today we do not seek it", she said. The proposal called for North Korea to curb its nuclear and missiles tests in return for the U.S. giving up on joint military drills with South Korea in the region, but was rejected by Washington. We have repeatedly stated that the pressure of sanctions has been exhausted.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has accused the United States of seeking to provoke North Korea into stepping up its nuclear missile program. "There is an impression that they were deliberately provoking [North Korean leader] Kim Jong Un to make him break the pause and gave in to their provocations", Lavrov said.

"We see the main task in preventing an armed conflict, which will have disastrous consequences, first of all, for the countries that are located in the region - South Korea and Japan, but let's not forget that China and Russian Federation also practically bordering North Korea", Lavrov said.

"There's a feeling that [the U.S. was] intentionally provoking [North Korea's] Kim Jong-un to break that pause, to fall for their provocation", he said.

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"According to North Korean representatives, they were forced to demonstrate the ability to adequately respond to any aggression from the USA, the ability to strike at any territory of America".

Haley's remarks followed Pyongyang's latest ballistic missile test. A group of Russian MPs, who visited Pyongyang earlier this week, said that the North Korean side expressed readiness to engage in talks, but demanded that Moscow play a mediating role.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has emerged as one of the most strident voices against punishing Pyongyang, insisting that further sanctions and threats are "useless" against a regime that feels cornered.

Implementing sanctions, then, has been a way for China to "punish" North Korea and yet it has suggested it was prepared to defend the country if the USA attacked it, according to an editorial in Chinese state run newspaper The Global Times.

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