Russia accuses US of provoking Kim Jong-un of North Korea




Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has accused the US of seeking to provoke North Korea into stepping up its nuclear missile programme.

The US has warned that North Korea’s government will be “utterly destroyed” if war breaks out.
On Wednesday, the North tested its first missile in two months, saying the continental US was now within striking distance.

However, defence experts have cast doubt on its ability to master the technology needed to launch a missile carrying a warhead capable of re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere.

The Hwasong 15 missile launched on Wednesday flew higher than any other previously tested by the North before falling in Japanese waters.

Lavrov  has rejected a call by the American envoy to the UN Security Council to sever ties with the North after its latest ballistic missile test.Russia argues sanctions do not work and advocates negotiations instead.

Calling for new talks with North Korea, Mr Lavrov added: “We have already emphasised several times that the squeeze of sanctions has essentially come to an end, and that those resolutions which introduced the sanctions should have included a requirement to renew the political process, a requirement to renew talks.

“But the Americans completely ignore this requirement and I consider this a big mistake.”

After China, Russia is one of the few states with which North Korea still has good relations. Both Russia and China wield a veto at the UN Security Council.