Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has accused the US of seeking to provoke North Korea into stepping up its nuclear missile programme. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has rejected the US call to cut ties with North Korea after Pyongyang launched the missiles on Wednesday. Russia is one of the few states with which North Korea still has good relations. Both Russia and China wield a veto at the UN Security Council.
“We perceived this negatively,” Lavrov told journalists in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, commenting on Washington’s statement on the need to cut ties with North Korea. The US has warned that North Korea’s government will be “utterly destroyed” if war breaks out.
MR LAVROV’S STATEMENT
Speaking on a visit to the Belarussian capital Minsk, Mr Lavrov asked whether America was actively seeking to destroy North Korea.”One gets the impression that everything has been done on purpose to make Kim Jong-un snap and carry out further inadvisable actions,” he said. The Americans, he said, “should explain to us all what they’re after”.
“If they want to find a pretext for destroying North Korea, as the US envoy said at the UN Security Council, then let them say it outright and let the supreme American leadership confirm it.”
Calling for new talks with North Korea, Mr Lavrov added: “We have already emphasised several times that the squeeze of sanctions has essentially come to an end, and that those resolutions which introduced the sanctions should have included a requirement to renew the political process, a requirement to renew talks.
“But the Americans completely ignore this requirement and I consider this a big mistake.”
In a tit-for-tat war of words with Korean leader Kim, the US president called Kim a “madman” while the Korea leader dubbed him a “mentally deranged US dotard”. The Russian foreign minister in September urged “hot heads” to calm down, calling the war of words “a kindergarten fight”.