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Lavrov hopes common sense will prevail in Washington over North Korea issue

August 11, 2017, 17:29 UTC+3

This week, Washington and Pyongyang have exchanged sharp statements several times

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© AP Photo/Susan Walsh

DVORIKI VILLAGE /Vladimir region/, August 11. /TASS/. Moscow hopes that common sense will prevail in Washington and Pyongyang, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a meeting with participants in the national Educational Youth Forum dubbed Terra Scientia on Klyazma River.

"Unfortunately, the rhetoric used by Washington and Pyongyang is off scale," the minister said. "Anyway, we hope that common sense will prevail."

"You know what our position is: we do not accept the nuclear status of North Korea," the Russian top diplomat went on to say. "Together with China, we have put forward a number of proposals aimed at preventing a deep conflict that would lead to mass casualties," Lavrov pointed out.

According to the Russian foreign minister, countries that possess nuclear weapons are divided into two groups, the first groups includes countries officially recognized as nuclear states in accordance with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. "These five countries, who are also the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council [Russia, the United States, China, France and the United Kingdom - TASS], are said to be the legitimate possessors of nuclear weapons, provided that all participants in the Treaty prevent the spread of nuclear technologies," Lavrov said.

"Besides, there are new nuclear states… North Korea signed the Treaty [on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons], but later withdrew from it," the Russian foreign minister pointed out. "And now it says that is has every right to produce nuclear weapons, and even has already produced them," he added.

This week, Washington and Pyongyang have several times exchanged sharp statements.

On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump told reporters that North Korea should stop threatening the United States, otherwise Washington will answer with "fire and fury the likes of which the world has never seen." North Korea’s Central News Agency (KCNA) later reported that Pyongyang was "carefully examining" plans for a missile strike on the Andersen Air Force Base located on the US Pacific territory of Guam.

At the same time, KCNA issued a detailed statement saying that a relevant plan is expected to be ready by mid-August. According to the plan, four Hwasong-12 missiles will fly around 3,400 kilometers, particularly crossing Japan’s airspace, and land in water 30-40 kilometers off the Guam coast. In Pyongyang’s opinion, this step will be aimed at deterring the US forces in the Asia-Pacific region.

Tensions around the Korean Peninsula started to rise in light of the implementation of the North Korean missile program. In July, Pyongyang conducted two ballistic missile tests which provoked a sharp response from the United States, Japan and South Korea. Washington has been repeatedly stating that no option including the use of military force could be ruled out.

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