MOSCOW (AFP) – Russia on Thursday strongly condemned North Korea’s actions in the intensifying standoff with South Korea and the United States, saying Pyongyang was showing a “categorically unacceptable” contempt of UN resolutions.
“For Russia, Pyongyang’s neglect of UN resolutions (on nuclear non-proliferation) is categorically unacceptable,” foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich told reporters.
His comments were Russia’s sharpest criticism of Pyongyang in the current crisis. Until now, Moscow had urged restraint from all parties and warned that the general situation risked escalating out of control.
Lukashevich said North Korea’s actions “complicate, if not practically rule out the chances of resuming” the suspended six party talks including world and Asian powers to ease tensions on the Korean peninsula.
Pyongyang has threatened missile and nuclear strikes against the United States and its ally South Korea in response to UN sanctions and joint military drills.
Lukashevich appeared to also take Pyongyang to task over its increasingly bellicose rhetoric.
“Our main thesis is to as soon as possible stop these dangerous manoeuvres and rhetoric and create conditions for restoring as soon as possible the six-party talks process.”
“We remain convinced that all these measures and warlike statements are absolutely categorically unacceptable,” Lukashevich said, describing the situation as “extremely tense”.
Russia shares a short border with North Korea south of Vladivostok in its Far Eastern region and retains relatively close ties with the secretive Stalinist state.