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Putin, Trump speak in favor of building dialogue with North Korea — Kremlin

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Donald Trump discussed the siruation on the Korean peninsula on December 15

MOSCOW, December 15. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Donald Trump in their telephone call overnight into December 15 spoke out in favor of building dialogue with Pyongyang and resolve the situation on the Korean Peninsula, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

"[The presidents] spoke out in favor of building dialogue and contacts with North Korea and agreed to exchange information and initiatives in this regard," Peskov said.

The Russian presidential spokesman did not say how long the telephone conversation lasted, noting that it was "rather long and substantial."

The Kremlin press service said earlier that the telephone conversation had been initiated by Washington. The two presidents exchanged views on pressing bilateral issues, as well as on various crises, "focusing on ways to resolve the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue." According to the White House, Trump and Putin "discussed working together to resolve the very dangerous situation in North Korea."

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.

On November 29, North Korea conducted a missile launch, the first since September 15. After the launch, Pyongyang announced that the Hwasong-15 missile was capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, while the entire US territory was within its range.

In early December, South Korea and the US carried out joint drills dubbed the Vigilant Ace 18. 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."