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Moscow urges Washington to show restraint on North Korea’s missile launches

May 22, 2017, 10:27 UTC+3
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MOSCOW, May 22. /TASS/. Russia calls on the United States and its allies in Northeast Asia to show maximum restraint on North Korea’s missile launches, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told reporters on Monday.

He confirmed that Moscow and Washington maintain contacts on North Korea. "Certainly, there are [contacts] in New York and via other channels," the diplomat said.

"Of course, we consider that this activity [missile launches] is not beneficial to the major task - political settlement of the problem of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," Ryabkov stressed.

Ryabkov called on Washington and its allies in Northeast Asia not to step up drills and deployments of modern weapons systems in response to Pyongyang’s steps.

"Such countermeasures are nothing else than a step towards widening the spiral of escalation, and we call against this," he said. "There is an alternative way: both sides should show restraint. We also send this signal to Pyongyang," Ryabkov said.

"Now events are developing under a negative scenario, the vicious logics and countermeasures. This must be brought to an end," the diplomat said. "I think a consolidated view of the international community was reflected in a document of the UN Security Council after a previous test launch of a ballistic missile."

North Korea launched the Pukgukson-2 ballistic missile on Sunday and it flew about 500 kilometers towards the Sea of Japan. North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un personally supervised the launch. This came a week after a successive launch of a Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile on May 14, which flew 787 km and fell into the Sea of Japan, and its altitude reached 2,111 km.

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