Russia Ready to Be Mediator between US, North Korea

Lavrov names area of Russia-US cooperation

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says he is "united in opinion" with his US counterpart Rex Tillerson on the issue of North Korea but that they differ on how to resolve the crisis over Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program.

Russian Federation is ready and willing to mediate talks between the United States and North Korea, a high-ranking Kremlin official said Tuesday.

Russian Federation and China have the relatively closest diplomatic relations with insular North Korea, which poses a nuclear threat to its neighbor South Korea and that country's allies Japan and the U.S.

China has expressed concern about the humanitarian effects of sanctions, and has repeatedly called for constructive efforts to ease tensions.

South Korea also offered an optimistic prediction on Tuesday, saying North Korea may be willing in the new year to engage in talks with the U.S., Reuters reported.

North Korea had threatened to punish all those countries who supported the bid for sanctions which was imposed following Pyongyang's latest intercontinental ballistic missile test.

However, the ministry noted that both Lavrov and Tillerson agreed that North Korea's nuclear and missile programs violate the demands of the UN Security Council. Those sanctions sought to further limit North Korea's access to refined petroleum products and crude oil and its earnings from workers overseas.

Lavrov pointed out contacts between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his USA counterpart Donald Trump have recently become quite intense, covering a wide range of bilateral and global topics.

"Treasury is targeting leaders of North Korea's ballistic missile programs, as part of our maximum pressure campaign to isolate (North Korea) and achieve a fully denuclearized Korean Peninsula", Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

This lack of diplomacy may be the reason behind the rise in North Korean missile tests and contentious rhetoric at the United Nations and other global forums.

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