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Lavrov Claims US Trying To Provoke North Korean Leadership

04 December 2017

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said U.S. comments about North Korea amounted to a "really bloodthirsty tirade".

But Pyongyang's latest ICBM infuriated U.S. supremo Donald Trump who may push for military action over entering diplomatic talks.

Speaking during a visit to Rome, the Russian foreign minister condemned comments from Ambassador Nikki Haley who said the North Korean regime would be "utterly destroyed" in the event of a conflict.

"If someone really wants to use force to, as the USA representative to the United Nations put it, destroy North Korea. then I think that is playing with fire and a big mistake", Lavrov told reporters.

Addressing an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council late on November 29, Haley called on other nations to cut diplomatic and trade ties with Pyongyang.

"It's as if the recent actions of the United States are consciously directed to provoke Pyongyang towards other radical actions".

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Lavrov's remarks come on the same day as a Russian delegation returning from Pyongyang said North Korea would not give up its nuclear weapons.

"If they want to find a pretext for destroying North Korea...then let them say it outright", said Lavrov, who also reiterated Moscow's view that "the pressure of sanctions has been exhausted". "In October, they announced large-scale unscheduled exercises [between USA and South Korean forces], new drills are also announced in December - although in the regular context they shouldn't have been conducted until spring", he added.

Russian Federation and China have proposed a roadmap for settling the Korean crisis through a transition to negotiations, which implies rejection of any actions that fuel tensions.

China and Russian Federation are among the few states with which North Korea still has good relations.

"China's priority is stability in the region, as well as domestic stability, and part of that is an alliance with its neighbor North Korea", Alison Evans, deputy head of Asia-Pacific country risk at IHS Markit, told CNBC on Thursday. However, he made clear that, during the talks with the Russian MPs, Pyongyang didn't mention any plans to put a stop to its controversial nuclear program.

Lavrov Claims US Trying To Provoke North Korean Leadership