Lavrov, Tillerson discuss need for urgent North Korea negotiations: Moscow

Lucy Bush
December 27, 2017

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.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the White House have sent mixed messages regarding the administration's stance toward North Korea after Pyongyang launched an intercontinental ballistic missile late last month.

The two diplomats spoke by phone on December 26 and "shared a common opinion that the nuclear-missile developments in [North Korea] violate the demands of the United Nations Security Council", according to a statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry.

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Tensions have risen over North Korea's nuclear and missile programmes, which it pursues in defiance of years of UN Security Council resolutions, with bellicose rhetoric coming from both Pyongyang and the White House.

China, the North's lone major ally, and Russian Federation both supported the latest United Nations sanctions, which seek to limit the North's access to refined petroleum products and crude oil and its earnings from workers overseas. 29 test of an ICBM that Pyongyang said put all of the US mainland within range of its nuclear weapons. It says it prefers a diplomatic solution, but that North Korea has given no indication it is willing to discuss denuclearization.

It said Lavrov underscored the need for "the fastest move to the negotiating process from the language of sanctions".

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This may open the way for the de-escalation of tensions between the United States and North Korea, Peskov added.

"We will continue to defend our positions consistently and vigorously, attempting to persuade our colleagues in Washington to return to the fundamental principles on which a bilateral dialogue should be built", Lavrov told reporters in an interview published on the ministry's website. But top USA advisers have long retained that the U.S. remains committed to prioritizing a peaceful resolution to tensions with Pyongyang.

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