Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov called for a cooling of "hotheads" on the North Korean nuclear issue Friday and urged those involved to instead seek a peaceful solution, possibly through the mediation of "neutral European countries" or the United Nations secretary-general.
"If the agreement on the Iranian nuclear problem fails, North Korea will say: why should we negotiate with you, if you're unable to do so?"
Lavrov blamed Obama for the collapse in relations between Moscow and Washington.
He urged the United States to honor its "four "no" commitment", an apparent reference to an August 1 statement by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, in which he said Washington did not seek the collapse or change of the North Korean government, accelerated reunification of the peninsula, or to send its military north of the border.
As a result, "the vast potential of our bilateral relations" isn't being realized and global issues aren't being solved because the US and Russian Federation can not coordinate, he said.
Ri Yong Ho spoke to reporters in NY shortly after Kim Jong Un accused President Donald Trump of being "mentally deranged" and a "dotard" after Trump threatened to "totally destroy" North Korea in a speech to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.
"[The Russian-US relations] are impacted by the campaign around the legitimacy of [US] President [Donald] Trump's victory [in presidential election] and around the allegations that Russia ensured his victory by the meddling in the US internal affairs, in the election campaign".
"We have to calm down the hotheads", and this requires contacts between the Trump administration and Kim's government, he said. It would halt North Korean nuclear and missile tests in exchange for the US and South Korea stopping their joint military exercises, but the Trump administration has rejected it.
The Russian minister said he had no new initiatives to bring the two sides together, explaining that he believes "the potential" for the Russian-Chinese freeze-for-freeze proposal "is not yet exhausted".