Russian Federation hosts North Korean diplomat for talks on new tensions

Oct 01, 2017, 00:28

Choi Sun Hee, the North America bureau chief of Pyongyang's foreign ministry, was seen at Vnukovo International Airport southwest of Moscow on Tuesday, Yonhap reported.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova declined to give details, but said her ministry would issue a statement after the meeting.

Moscow is considered friendly toward its former communist ally, but the country voted in favor of recent United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions condemning North Korea's nuclear and missile provocations.

"Diplomacy is our preferred approach", she added.

"We have not declared war against North Korea and frankly the suggestion of that is absurd", White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. A USA attempt to shoot down that missile would probably occur within Russian radar space - and possibly over Russia itself.

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Addressing the UN General Assembly on September 25, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho accused U.S. President Donald Trump of declaring war on his country and said Pyongyang had the right to shoot down U.S. bombers, even if the warplanes were not in North Korea's airspace.

Rep. Woo Sang-ho, a former floor leader of the ruling Democratic Party, also said in a radio interview that military tensions on the peninsula are at the highest-level since the Korean War and the recent USA flying of U.S. B-1B Lancer bombers near the North fueled the tensions. -South Korean military drills to kick-start negotiations.

Washington has said its joint military drills are essential to guard against North Korea and that Pyongyang must show it is serious about giving up its nuclear weapons before any return to talks.

Last week, in his first speech to the UN General Assembly, Mr Trump vowed to "totally destroy" North Korea if it continued to threaten the United States and its allies.

North Korea, for its part, says it needs to develop its weapons to defend itself against what it sees as US aggression.

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