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Lavrov: North Korea's actions should not be pretext for military build-up in region

March 25, 8:33 UTC+3
According to the minister, it's important to defuse tensions after the nuclear tests and missile launches carried out by North Korea
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A Patriot missile system unveiled by the US military during the joint South Korea-US aerial exercise

A Patriot missile system unveiled by the US military during the joint South Korea-US aerial exercise

© EPA/STRINGER

MOSCOW, March 25 /TASS/. Russia is opposed to destabilization of the situation on the Korean Peninsula, as well as against the build-up of military potential in response to North Korea’s actions, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday after Russian-US talks.

"During the talks held in the morning we discussed the situation on the Korean Peninsula with an emphasis on the need to defuse tensions after the nuclear tests and missile launches carried out by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea," Lavrov said.

"Our stance remains unchanged," the minister added. "Pyongyang's irresponsible actions should not be used as a pretext for inadequate and disproportionate reaction in the form of building up military potential in Northeast Asia," Lavrov said.

On March 21, North Korea launched several short-range projectiles in the direction of the Sea of Japan. Launches were registered from the city of Hamhung at 3:39 pm (9:39am Moscow time). Projectiles flew over 200 kilometers and fell into the sea.

On March 18, North Korea launched two medium-range ballistic missiles in the direction of the Sea of Japan. The missiles are presumed to have been of Nodong type with a range of 1,200-1,500 kilometers.

On March 10, Pyongyang launched two short-range ballistic missiles in the direction of the Sea of Japan. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said that the missiles were launched from the North Hwanghae province in the country’s south. The missiles flew around 500 kilometers and fell into the sea to the north-east of the Wonsan city in North Korea’s east.

The United Nations Security Council has strongly condemned North Korea's recent ballistic missile launches and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on Pyongyang to "halt these inflammatory and escalatory actions."

This month the Security Council imposed harsh new sanctions on North Korea to starve it of money for its nuclear weapons program. The resolution drafted by the United States and Pyongyang's ally China was unanimously adopted.

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