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    A North Korean flag flutters in the propaganda village of Gijungdong as seen from a South Korean military check point of the truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone dividing the two Koreas on November 12, 2014

    Kremlin Urges Restraint in Settling N Korea Nuclear Issue

    © AFP 2017/ JUNG YEON-JE
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    Moscow calls for restraint and coordination concerning the North Korean issue.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia urges all sides to show restraint, avoid provocations and coordinate common efforts to settle the issue of North Korea's nuclear weapons program, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday.

    "We consistently urge all parties to show restraint in this situation, we call on all to avoid any actions that could be regarded as provocation," Peskov told reporters.

    North Korea carried out a failed missile launch on Sunday, prompting Japan to lodge a protest and US Vice President Mike Pence to declare that the "era of strategic patience is over." South Korean Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn said Monday that Seoul and Washington would take "powerful punitive measures" in case of further provocations from Pyongyang.

    "We are in favor of continuing coordinated international efforts in the existing formats to resolve the North Korean issue," Peskov said.

    On September 5, Pyongyang launched three ballistic missiles in the direction of the Sea of Japan. Several days later it conducted a successful test of a nuclear warhead, which is believed to be the fifth and largest blast since Pyongyang began pursuing nuclear and ballistic missile programs. In the latest New Year's address to the nation, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said the country was finalizing preparations for another intercontinental ballistic missile test.

    The UN Security Council imposed new sanctions against the North Korea in 2016 in response to nuclear test and missile launches. Japan, South Korea and the United States later introduced additional sanctions against the country.

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    Dmitry Peskov, Russia, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK)
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