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MOSCOW, September 2 (Itar-Tass) - Moscow rejects Pyongyang’s attempts to declare itself a military nuclear power unilaterally, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
“We do not accept attempts of the North Korean leadership to unilaterally declare itself a military nuclear power de facto and de jure. Peaceful use of nuclear power is not in question. When we resolve the nuclear issue of the Korean Peninsula, North Korea and other countries in the region will enjoy all the benefits of peaceful uses of atomic energy,” Lavrov said at a traditional meeting with students and faculty members of the MGIMO Moscow University of International Relations on Monday, September 2.
“We reject all steps that violate the nonproliferation regime, especially the ones that are accompanied by threats to use nuclear weapons,” the minister said. “But we also urged other parties to the drama to exercise restraint because we thought that the response declared and taken by the United States, Japan and the Republic of Korea in the form of massive manoeuvres and broader plans to build a missile defence system in that region and redeploy additional troops and materiel there, we thought that this response was disproportionate to the real military risks that come from North Korea,” Lavrov said, adding, “This is why China and we urged everyone to exercise restraint.”