Lavrov accuses N. Korea of blatantly violating UN Security Council resolutions

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(Interfax – MOSCOW, April 10, 2013) Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has accused North Korea of blatantly violating a UN Security Council resolution and warned that Moscow will consistently seek to calm the situation down.

“Certainly, it is unacceptable when a state – in this particular case the DPRK, a UN member – openly and blatantly violates a UN Security Council resolution. We have repeatedly talked about this with other Security Council members. The last time it was in response to the nuclear test that Pyongyang conducted in violation of its obligations,” Lavrov said in an interview shown on RTVi television.

“At the same time, we are convinced that the situation is very serious as it is, because nuclear explosions and missile launches are no laughing matter. But rhetoric plays just as evil a role because mutual accusations, threats, and warnings may reach a critical point at some moment, when people corner themselves and need to act to present something to the public opinion. Therefore, we are consistently working to calm the situation down,” Lavrov said.

Russia views the cancellation of any measures related to the demonstration of military power as a positive step, he said.

“This is how we view the decision made by the Pentagon in the United States, as I understand, at President Barack Obama’s approval. This should prompt all of us not to foment confrontation and not to fuel emotions but to try, using diplomatic methods, preferably soft and nonpublic ones, to bring the situation from the roadside ditch, where it has fallen, back to the road leading to the resumption of the six-party talks,” he said.

Lavrov insisted that this is exactly what Russia is doing. “We are working with all participants in the six-party talks, including the DPRK, the U.S., Japan, and the Republic of Korea, and we are closely coordinating our actions with our Chinese neighbors,” he said.

“It is hard to say now what this will lead to. But I would not like, on the one hand, to see that the price for self-assertion is in fomenting rhetoric, especially as it concerns unlawful actions, and on the other, to see the situation being cornered just out of the desire to prove that someone can call anyone to order. It is necessary to act not in a forceful way and not by threats but through calming the situation down,” he said.

“Let me repeat once again: measures are being taken. I can’t say what they will lead to. We hope for the better,” he said.

Lavrov rejected the possibility that Russia could side with North Korea and conduct joint exercises with it.

“I do not think we have to make a choice and decide whom to side with. We want to side with reason and peaceful settlement. Anything else is just emotions, if your viewers follow this logic: poor North Korea, it is being encircled by massive military exercises, including naval, ground, and aerial ones,” he said.

“These maneuvers are not helpful indeed, and we have said this to the Americans, the South Koreans, and the Japanese,” he said.

“But saying that we will conduct our exercises with North Korea would be thoughtless. I think priority should be given to attempt to calm the situation down in all areas over the desire to be noticed and draw applause from some part of the audience by assuming this quite exotic position,” he said.