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. Tillerson and Lavrov also tackled the possible steps to find a solution to the conflict in Syria, to ensure the territorial integrity of Syria and the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi, Russia.
US President Donald Trump has threatened to "totally destroy" North Korea if it attacks the United States, while North Korea insists the world must now accept that it is a nuclear power.
Lavrov disagreed with USA threats of military intervention and further sanctions against North Korea, instead pushing for US diplomacy to seek a more peaceful approach to negotiations, the statement said.
Foreign ministers of Russia and US agree to not accept N. Korea as nuclear state
Russia's foreign minister says a Moscow-proposed peace congress scheduled for next month is crucial for reaching a settlement in Syria and is not hampering United Nations-led talks. Lavrov and Tillerson also discussed bilateral issues, in which tensions increased, particularly after the implementation of various packages of US sanctions against Russian Federation in the recent months.
North Korea called the sanctions an "act of war". The sanctions were in response to a November 29 missile test which North Korea claimed, could hit the USA mainland.
"We define this "sanctions resolution" rigged up by the USA and its followers as a grave infringement upon the sovereignty of our Republic, as an act of war violating peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula and the region and categorically reject the 'resolution, '" the statement said. "The two sides believe that Pyongyang's nuclear missile development violated the requirements of the UN Security Council", the Russian Foreign Ministry said, underscoring the need for "an early transition from words of sanctions to a negotiation process".