Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called for regular trilateral security talks between North Korea, China and Russia to counteract what he characterized as a “dangerous policy” being pursued by the US, Japan and South Korea to tighten their joint defense posture in the region.
(Bloomberg) — Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called for regular trilateral security talks between North Korea, China and Russia to counteract what he characterized as a “dangerous policy” being pursued by the US, Japan and South Korea to tighten their joint defense posture in the region.
“We favor maintaining unconditional dialogue on security issues on the Korean Peninsula on a regular basis,” Russian newswire Tass quoted Lavrov as saying. Lavrov is in North Korea this week after a stop in China, where he took part in the Belt and Road Initiative forum along with President Vladimir Putin.
His visit to Pyongyang came in the wake of the first joint naval interdiction drill in seven years by the US, Japan and South Korea earlier this month. The drill, which simulated intercepting smuggling vessels, was held in international waters, south of the South Korean island of Jeju, and the US sent an aircraft carrier to participate.
“The United States, Japan and South Korea intensifying military activity here and Washington working toward moving strategic infrastructure, including nuclear aspects, here, are of great concern to us and our North Korean friends,” Lavrov was quoted as telling reporters in Pyongyang. “We oppose this unconstructive and dangerous policy with a course toward de-escalation and inadmissibility of escalating tensions here.”
Lavrov’s trip is part of a series of high-profile meetings between Moscow and North Korea that started in July when Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu traveled to Pyongyang for a ceremony marking the anniversary of the end of the Korean War in 1953.
Sanctions imposed on Russia for its war in Ukraine and on North Korea for its nuclear arms development have drawn the two countries closer. In September North Korean leader Kim Jong Un spent about a week in Russia, where he held a summit with Putin and received pledges of assistance in building and launching satellites.
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