Russian Minister Urges US, N. Korea to Start Talks

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov

His comments came after Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov blamed the deep freeze in relations with the USA on "the Russophobic hysteria that has afflicted the Washington political establishment".

In a phone call, the two men also discussed further steps towards resolving the Syrian crisis and the situation in Ukraine, it added.

Russian Federation has reiterated its call for the United States and North Korea to start a negotiations process with the ultimate aim of resolving the nuclear crisis.

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.

Russian Federation and China have the relatively closest diplomatic relations with insular North Korea, which poses a nuclear threat to its neighbor South Korea and that country's allies Japan and the U.S.

The UN Security Council unanimously voted to impose new sanctions on North Korea on Friday in response to its recent intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test.

On December 22, the UN Security Council unanimously approved new sanctions on North Korea in response to last month's launch of a ballistic missile that Pyongyang says is capable of reaching anywhere on the USA mainland.

"North Korea will seek negotiation with United States, while continuing to pursue its effort to be recognized as a de facto nuclear-possessing country", according to a report released by South Korea's Unification Ministry, which reportedly did not provide any reasons to support its conclusion.

Though the United States diplomats says it is pursuing a diplomatic solution, President Trump has said Pyongyang must commit to giving up its nuclear weapons before any talks can begin.

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