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Moscow, Beijing call for refraining from escalating tensions on Korean Peninsula

On Friday, North Korea conducted its fifth nuclear test
Russian Foreign Ministry ITAR-TASS/Sergei Karpov
Russian Foreign Ministry
© ITAR-TASS/Sergei Karpov

MOSCOW, September 10. /TASS/. Moscow and Beijing call for refraining from steps that may escalate tensions on the Korean Peninsula, Russia's Foreign Ministry said after a telephone conversation between Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov and China's Special Representative for the Korean Peninsula Wu Dawei on Saturday.

"Both sides expressed concern over another nuclear test carried out by the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea)," the foreign ministry said. "Moscow and Beijing call on all involved countries to refrain from steps that could cause further escalation of tensions there."

The parties "confirmed adherence of Russia and China to a political and diplomatic settlement of the nuclear problem on the Korean Peninsula, as well as the countries’ aspirations for close coordination of efforts in achieving the goal."

On Friday, North Korea conducted its fifth nuclear test. According to South Korea’s ministry of national defense, it was the most powerful missile Pyongyang ever tested. North Korea conducted four previous nuclear tests in 2006, in 2009, in 2013 and in January 2016.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has condemned North Korea’s latest nuclear test and called on the United Nations Security Council to take "appropriate action" in response to Pyongyang’s action undermining peace and security in the region.

"I condemn in the strongest possible terms the underground nuclear test by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. This is yet another brazen breach of the resolutions of the Security Council," Ban said on Friday.

"For the fifth time in recent years, the DPRK alone has broken the international norm against nuclear tests," he said. "This unacceptable act endangers peace and security in the region and is another vivid reminder of the urgent need to strengthen the global nuclear test ban regime."

"I count on the Security Council to remain united and take appropriate action. We must urgently break this accelerating spiral of escalation," Ban stressed. He called on North Korea "to reverse its course and commit to a path of denuclearization." "Rather than pursuing nuclear weapons and ballistic missile technology, the DPRK should be promoting the well-being of the country’s people," he said.