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Russia ‘concerned’ by escalation of Korea tensions after Trump, Kim exchange: Kremlin

Dmitry Peskov

Moscow, Russia | AFP | Russia is “deeply concerned” by the escalation of tensions over North Korea, the Kremlin said on Friday, after US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un exchanged stinging barbs.

“Moscow is deeply concerned by an escalation of tensions on the Korean peninsula related to an exchange of rather rude statements replete with threats,” President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

“Moscow still calls on all interested parties to display restraint so as not to provoke this escalation even further,” Peskov said, reiterating Russia’s position that the problem surrounding the North’s nuclear programme should be settled through negotiations only.

On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump used his maiden address to the UN General Assembly to warn “Rocket Man” Kim that he will “totally destroy” North Korea if it threatens the United States or its allies.

On Thursday Washington ramped up sanctions aimed at curtailing North Korea’s nuclear weapons drive.

The move was the latest effort to tighten the screws on Pyongyang over its banned weapons programmes, following it sixth nuclear test — the largest yet — and the firing of two missiles over Japan in recent weeks.

In a rare personal attack published hours after Washington announced the tougher sanctions, Kim said Trump was “mentally deranged” and will “pay dearly” for his threat to destroy his country.

Kim’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho told reporters Pyongyang might now consider detonating a hydrogen bomb outside its territory.

Washington has refused to negotiate with Pyongyang, despite appeals to do so from China and Russia, who are both uneasy over Trump’s bellicose tone.

 

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