10:14 GMT25 February 2020
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    The Kremlin has strongly condemned the first missile launch carried out by North Korea since the UN Security Council had imposed new sanctions on Pyongyang over its latest nuclear test.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The new missile launch by North Korea is another provocation that leads to an escalation of tensions in the region, the Kremlin condemns it, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday.

    "Russia is concerned about regular provocative launches that lead to further escalation of tensions on the peninsula," Peskov said.

    "We strongly condemn the continuation of such provocative actions and believe that such an unambiguous demonstration of positions […] is the most concrete thing that can be done at the moment," he said, when asked whether Russia is going to do anything specific after North Korea's tests and missile launches.

    He said Putin had discussed with the Russian Security Council the situation on the Korean Peninsula after a new missile launch by North Korea.

    Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova also commented on the missile launch and said that Moscow calls on all parties involved in the Korean crisis to stop exacerbating the situation around North Korea.

    "We are convinced that it is extremely important now for all the parties involved to stop escalating tensions. It is necessary to stop and thoroughly evaluate the consequences of these steps, to review the policy of mutual pressure and intimidation, since it leads to an absolutely opposite result," Zakharova said.

    North Korea fired an intermediate-range ballistic missile in the early hours of Friday in violation of UN Security Council resolutions that bar it from researching ballistic missile technology. The missile flew over northern Japan before splashing into the Pacific, according to the US Department of Defense.

    The latest missile launch comes just several days after the UN Security Council unanimously adopted new sanctions against Pyongyang as a response to North Korea's most powerful nuclear test conducted on September 3. The UN resolution bans Pyongyang from exporting textiles while capping how much crude oil and refined petroleum products can be imported. Natural gas condensates and liquids are also included among the items North Korea is restricted from importing in excess of UN guidelines.

    When commenting on the resolution, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that Moscow "removed all unacceptable points" from the text of the document. Previously, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson concerning the document and voiced Moscow's conditions for Russia to vote in favor of it.


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    ballistic missile launches, sanctions, Dmitry Peskov, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), Russia
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