08:59 GMT04 December 2020
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    According to a Russian lawmaker, who has just returned from North Korea, Pyongyang is ready to test a missile capable of reaching the US western coast.

    "They are preparing for a new test of a longer-range missile. They even gave us mathematical calculations that they believe prove that their missile can hit the western coast of the United States," Morozov said.

    "In the near future, they are going to carry out, as far as we understand, yet another launch of a missile, but this time with a longer range," the lawmaker said, adding that the general mood in Pyongyang is "rather belligerent."

    Morozov stressed that the situation demands a prompt intervention of all interested states, especially those represented in that region, in order to prevent full-scale hostilities.

    The Russian delegation was on an official visit in the North Korean capital on October 2-6, the Russian embassy in North Korea said earlier. The lawmakers discussed bilateral cooperation with the Russian ambassador to North Korea.

    The North Korean nuclear and missile test issue has aggravated in recent months as Pyongyang has held several rounds of missile launches and nuclear tests. The most recent one was conducted on September 15, when North Korea launched a ballistic missile, which flew over Japan before falling into the northern Pacific some 20 minutes after the launch.

    On September 11, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted its toughest resolution yet against North Korea over its latest nuclear test and repeated missile launches. The move prompted harsh criticism from Pyongyang which subsequently vowed to use any means possible to retaliate against the United States.

    US President Donald Trump, in turn, warned that North Korea’s possible actions would be met with "fire and fury" from the United States. Following the statement, Pyongyang said it considered an attack near the Pacific island of Guam where several US military bases were located.

    The harsh rhethorics came several months after China had proposed a so-called "double freeze" scenario, stipulating that North Korea ceases its nuclear missile tests, while US-South Korean military drills are simultaneously halted. 

    Russia immediately backed the plan, with Russian President Vladimir Putin saying that the intensity of the rhetoric regarding the Korean peninsula issue should be reduced by all sides, as it was important to look for ways to conduct a direct dialogue between North Korea and the United States.


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    test, missile, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), US, Russia
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