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    Using Force Against N Korea 'Fraught With Catastrophic Consequences' - Moscow

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    Using force against North Korea is absolutely unacceptable, Russia's deputy foreign minister said.

    UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) – The use of force against North Korea cannot be a solution to the existing crisis as the international community should use diplomatic means to resolve it, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told the UN Security Council on Friday.

    "Needless to say, the DPRK [North Korea] is acting inappropriately when it refuses to comply with legitimate demands of the international community, as provided for in the relevant Security Council resolutions," Gatilov said. "Having said that, the use of force is absolutely unacceptable and fraught with catastrophic consequences for the Korean Peninsula as well as for the entire North-East Asia. We should opt for using whatever diplomatic tools we have."

    Tensions surrounding North Korea's activities with both nuclear and ballistic missiles have escalated in recent months after Pyongyang conducted a number of nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches in violation of UN Security Council resolutions.

    "We do not support DPRK’s [North Korea] activity which is reflected by the fact that we voted in favor of the relevant UN Security Council resolution on sanctions," Gatilov said. "We call on the government of North Korea to shut down its illegal programs and go back to the non-proliferation regime established by Non-Proliferation Treaty and under the control of International Atomic Energy Agency."

    The most recent missile launch by Pyongyang reportedly took place early on April 16 but, according to South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff, it ultimately failed.

    In response to the growing tensions in the region, the United States sent a naval group led by US aircraft carrier Carl Vinson to the Korean Peninsula. On April 14, US media reported that Trump might order a strike against North Korea if Pyongyang decided to carry out another nuclear weapons test.

    "We need to find channels of communication with DPRK [North Korea]’s leadership, and lead them to a substantive dialogue on nuclear and missile issues," Gatilov stated.

    Gatilov noted that Russia is willing to have a closer cooperation on the issue of North Korea, but stressed that it has to be solely through political and diplomatic means.

    "We are ready for closer cooperation with all partners in order to as quickly as possible resolve nuclear and other issues in the Korean Peninsula through the only means possible, namely political and diplomatic means, through mutually respective dialogue and mutual taking into account of interests and concerns," Gatilov stated.

    The UN Security Council is presently holding a ministerial briefing on North Korea’s nuclear program and ballistic missile launches.

    The meeting comes at the request of the US mission to the United Nations and is attended by ministers and officials from nine other nations: Russia, China, Japan, Senegal, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, Sweden, Italy and the United Kingdom.

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    Tags:
    Russian Foreign Ministry, Gennady Gatilov, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), Russia
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