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Russian General Staff chief, Japanese defense minister discuss North Korean missile issue

December 11, 2017, 11:13 UTC+3 TOKYO

The Russian General Staff noted that raising tensions would not help find a solution

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TOKYO, December 11. /TASS/. Chief of Russia’s General Staff Army General Valery Gerasimov and Japanese Foreign Minister Itsunori Onodera have discussed the North Korean missile issue.

The issue was brought up by the Japanese defense minister. "For Japan, North Korea is the most pressing issue. North Korea continues to develop its nuclear and missile programs, which pose a serious threat to the global community," he said, adding that he would like to discuss ways to cooperate in this field.

In response, the Russian General Staff chief reiterated Moscow’s stance and noted that raising tensions would not help find a solution. "We believe that the issue should be resolved only through political and diplomatic means," Gerasimov stressed.

Korean Peninsula situation

The situation on the Korean Peninsula remains tense as Pyongyang continues to develop its nuclear and missile programs, while Seoul and Washington hold joint military drills.

US National Security Adviser Herbert McMaster said recently that "the greatest immediate threat to the US and the world is that posed by the rogue regime." According to him, the risk of war between the United States and North Korea was "increasing every day."

On November 29, North Korea conducted a missile launch, the first since September 15. North Korea’s Central News Agency (KCNA) said that the Hwasong-15 missile had covered a distance of 950 kilometers during its 53-minute flight, reaching an altitude of 4,475 kilometers. After the launch, Pyongyang announced that the missile was capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, while the entire US territory was within its range.

On December, South Korea and the US launched the Vigilant Ace 18 joint drills. North Korea’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement strongly condemning the drills and noting that Washington’s campaign to demonize Pyongyang was leading to a war, while North Korea only "pursues a legitimate and fair aim by strengthening its means of nuclear deterrence."

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