MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia and China called on North Korea to declare a moratorium on nuclear tests, while at the same time urging Washington and Seoul to refrain from holding joint drills.
"The sides suggest for North Korea, as a way of voluntary political settlement, to declare a moratorium on tests of nuclear explosive devices and test launches of ballistic missiles and for the United States and South Korea to refrain from carrying out large-scale joint exercises," the statement said.
Russia and China are seriously concerned about the development of the situation on the Korean Peninsula, and are calling on all concerned sides to show restraint and refrain from provocative actions, according to the joint statement.
"The sides express serious concern over the development of the situation on the Korean Peninsula and around it. The escalation of military and political tension in the region, which is fraught with an armed conflict, requires the international community to take collective measures to resolve the situation peacefully through dialogue and consultations," the statement said.
Russia and China "are committed to the tasks of denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and stress that dialogue and consultations are the only effective way to resolve the issues of the North Korean peninsula," the statement read.
Moscow and Beijng also called on the international community to support the initiative as one that could open "a real way toward settling the issues of the Korean peninsula," the statement added.
North Korea announced earlier in the day it had successfully launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile, the Hwasong-14, at 00:30 GMT. It said the missile traveled 580 miles and reached an altitude of 1,740 miles during its 39-minute flight before "accurately hitting the target waters in the open sea" in the Sea of Japan.
Russia and China are against the military presence of outside forces in Northeast Asia under the pretext of countering North Korea's missile strikes, the statement said.
"The sides reaffirm that the deployment of THAAD missile defense systems in Northeast Asia seriously damages the interests of strategic security of regional states, including Russia and China, does not contribute to the goals of denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, nor does it contribute to peace and stability in the region."
The document also notes that "Russia and China oppose the deployment of these systems, call upon the countries concerned to immediately stop and abolish this deployment, and agreed to take the necessary measures to protect the interests of the two countries in the security sphere, as well as to ensure strategic balance in the region."