Russian Federation rejects USA call to cut N Korea ties

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Both countries, he said, are "concerned that the US has not offered a diplomatic option", which increases the possibility of war, "and that would be a catastrophe for the whole region".

"One gets the impression that everything has been done on goal to make Kim Jong-un snap and carry out further inadvisable actions", he said. "In October, they announced large-scale unscheduled exercises [between US and South Korean forces], new drills are also announced in December - although in the regular context they shouldn't have been conducted until spring", he added.

Haley made the remarks during a UN Security Council (UNSC) emergency session on Wednesday, following the DPRK's most recent intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test a day earlier.

"If someone really wants to use force to, as the US representative to the United Nations put it, destroy North Korea.then I think that is playing with fire and a big mistake", Lavrov stated. "But the Americans completely ignore this requirement and I consider this a big mistake", he elaborated.

After China, Russia is one of the few states with which North Korea still has good relations.

Sweden's deputy United Nations ambassador Carl Skau reiterated his country's strong condemnation of the launch and said "it's important that the council speaks with one voice on this issue".

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What is the United States position?

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Wednesday called for other countries to sever all ties with Pyongyang, including cutting trade links and expelling North Korean workers.

"We know the main driver of its [North Korea's] nuclear production is oil", said Ms Haley.

In its response to the USA request for an embargo, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said the country had "always implemented full, comprehensive, serious and strict resolutions".

TASS reported that Lavrov - who is on a visit to Rome - explained that using force against North Korea would be "playing with fire" and "a big mistake" and that Moscow would do everything it could to avoid such a scenario.

Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) claimed a Hwasong-15 advanced missile reached an altitude of 4,475 km and covered a distance of 950 km within 53 minutes of its flight. But Russia, which is masterfully edging the USA out of relevance in Syria, is now making more muscular statements on Trump's diplomatic shortcomings with North Korea, including his calls to further isolate the regime.

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