Russia warns US against unilateral strike on N Korea
Russia on Monday warned Washington against launching a unilateral strike on North Korea, after US Vice President Mike Pence said the era of "strategic patience" with Pyongyang was over. "This is a very risky path," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a news conference in Moscow.
"We do not accept the reckless nuclear missile actions of Pyongyang that breach UN resolutions, but that does not mean that you can break international law," he said. "I hope that there will not be any unilateral actions like the one we saw recently in Syria."
Defying international pressure, the North on Sunday tried to test-fire another missile in an attempt that failed, but which fuelled fears that it may be preparing for its sixth atomic weapons test.
Pence said that the era of US "strategic patience" in dealing with the North was over, after more than two decades.
"In the past two weeks, the world witnessed the strength and resolve of our new president in actions taken in Syria and Afghanistan," Pence said.
"North Korea would do well not to test his resolve, or the strength of the armed forces of the United States."
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also urged North Korea on Monday to refrain from taking further provocative actions, comply with U.N. resolutions and abandon its nuclear missile development.
Tensions on the Korean peninsula have escalated as U.S. President Donald Trump takes a hard rhetorical line with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who has rebuffed admonitions from China and proceeded with missile tests.
North Korea launched a ballistic missile on Sunday but it blew up almost immediately, the U.S. Pacific Command said. Abe told arliament he would exchange views on North Korea with Russian President Vladimir Putin when they hold a summit meeting later this month.
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