Saturday, 17 Nov 2018

Russia offering to China diplomacy a chance to halt Communist state's nuclear


Foto : InternetFoto : Internet -  Russia said North Korea is still two to three years to carry out a long-range strike on the US, and offering diplomacy a chance to halt the secretive Communist state's nuclear and missile programmes.

"Unless we can find a political solution, it's inevitable that Kim Jong Un's regime will have intercontinental ballistic missiles within that time", said Mikhail Ulyanov, head of the Russian Foreign Ministry's department for security affairs and disarmament, said in an interview in Moscow.

"We need to stop these programmes now, and sanctions will only work within four to five years. Russia will never recognise North Korea as a nuclear state, which puts Moscow and Washington in close positions", Ulyanov said.

Russia and China have urged a so-called dual freeze to ease the crisis, under which North Korea would suspend missile and nuclear tests at least for a few months, and the U.S. and South Korea would halt joint manoeuvres to allow negotiations to restart, he said.

Washington has rejected the proposal, saying it equates North Korea's illegal tests with the legitimate drills carried out by the U.S. and South Korea.

The US wants to intensify pressure on North Korea through sanctions.

While Trump said he sees certain movement on the issue, he declined to comment on holding direct talks with North Korea and said the US is ready - if need be - to use the full range of its military capabilities.

Tensions have ratcheted up since North Korea conducted its sixth nuclear test on September 3 2017, detonating what it said was a hydrogen bomb that could be fitted to an ICBM.

It's test-fired ballistic missiles that Kim said put the entire U.S. at risk of a strike, and launched rockets twice that flew over Japan.

Russian lawmakers who visited Pyongyang last month said they were told that North Korea is planning to test a missile that may be capable of reaching the U.S. West Coast.

Russia, along with China and the European powers, has rejected Trump's demand to renegotiate the pact to curb Iran's ballistic missile program. Iran currently has missiles with a range of around 3,000 km, which poses no threat to the US in the "foreseeable future," Ulyanov said.

While Russia, which is on good terms with Iran, opposes Tehran's missile development, it accepts the Islamic Republics's right to do so under international law, according to Ulyanov.


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