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US, North Korea scale down rhetoric over situation on Korean Peninsula — Lavrov

August 16, 2017, 13:19 UTC+3

The Russian foreign minister hopes that "the hot heads have cooled down"

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MOSCOW, August 16. /TASS/. Russia has noted that Washington and Pyongyang had toned down their rhetoric over situation on the Korean Peninsula, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday.

"We have noted recently that they had somewhat scaled down their rhetoric. Perhaps, we should hail that and, at least, hope that the hot heads have cooled down."

"Together with China, we have put forward an initiative [on July 4], which specifies the dual freeze principle, which means that North Kora will not test nuclear weapons and missiles and South Korea will not conduct large-scale exercises in the region," the minister noted.

"The issue at hand here is not arguing that one’s approach is correct. One should think about the fate of the region, the destinies of hundreds of thousands of people who, according to expert estimates, can be affected, if hostilities begin, rather than some misinterpreted prestige considerations," Russia’s top diplomat stressed.

Lavrov also said that possible measures to exert economic pressure on Pyongyang have been exhausted and Moscow opposes initiatives proposed by some of its partners to economically strangle North Korea.

"Speaking about the exerted pressure on Pyongyang in order to force it into implementation of the well-known UN Security Council resolutions, we are confident that all measures of economic pressure are exhausted," Lavrov said.

"We cannot support the ideas, which some of our partners continue developing and which are literally aimed to economically strangle North Korea, entailing a scope of negative, tragic and humanitarian consequences for the people of North Korea," the top Russian diplomat stated.

According to Lavrov, all previously introduced UN Security Council resolutions, which stipulated serious tools of economic pressure on Pyongyang, also specified obligations to uphold the process of returning to political negotiations and to seek a peaceful and diplomatic solution of the situation on the Korean Peninsula.

"While all tools of economic pressure, which in the course of many years were introduced by the Security Council, were implemented by the UN member states, all obligations of the Security Council to pay due attention to the political track had been in fact ignored," Lavrov added.

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