US, Russia agree to work on diplomatic solution to N Korea crisis

ANI | Updated: Dec 27, 2017 23:31 IST

Washington D.C. [United States], December 27 (ANI): The United States and Russia have agreed to continue to work towards a diplomatic solution to achieve a denuclearized Korean peninsula.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spoke over the phone on Tuesday and discussed concerns related to the North Korea's destabilizing nuclear programme.

The two emphasized that neither the United States nor Russia accepts North Korea as a nuclear power.

"Both sides agreed that they will continue to work toward a diplomatic solution to achieve a denuclearized Korean peninsula," US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement on Wednesday.

Lavrov during the meeting had stressed that it was unacceptable to escalate tensions around the Korean Peninsula by Washington's aggressive rhetoric against Pyongyang and buildup of war preparations in the region.

On Syria issue, they discussed the importance of supporting the Geneva process to achieve a peaceful resolution of the Syria conflict as called for in the joint statement made by president trump and Putin in DaNang, Vietnam.

Underscoring the U.S. concern, with rising violence in eastern Ukraine, Tillerson requested that Russia return its representatives to the Joint Center on Coordination and control and lower the level of violence.

Rising tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, which conducted its largest nuclear test in September and fired off a powerful ICBM in late November, have raised deep concern worldwide.

North Korea last week termed the new United Nations (UN) sanctions against it as an 'act of war' and also said that this would lead to a complete economic blockade.

The United Nations Security Council recently slapped new sanctions on North Korea in the backdrop of its recent ballistic missile tests.

The latest penalties seek to halt nearly 90 percent of the country's refined petroleum imports and limit crude oil supplies to 4 million barrels a year.

North Korea has also argued that the nuclear weapon tests are a self-defensive deterrence, not in contradiction of international law. It also warned other countries that those who would support the sanctions would pay a 'heavy price'.(ANI)