Germany withdraws diplomat from North Korea

Posted December 02, 2017

RUSSIAN Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has rejected the USA call to cut ties with North Korea after Pyongyang launched ballistic missiles on Wednesday.

The US military has begun referring to the North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile launched Tuesday as a "KN 22" - a new designation signaling that the US is increasingly seeing the recent launch as involving a new type of ICBM, according to two US defense officials.

"If someone really wants to use force to, as the US representative to the United Nations put it, destroy North Korea.then I think that is playing with fire and a big mistake", Lavrov stated.

He urged the acceptance of a proposal made jointly by China and Russian Federation that would require North Korea to suspend nuclear activity and the US and South Korea to halt joint military exercises in order to pave the way for talks.

On the morning of November 29, North Korea conducted a missile launch, the first since September 15.

"Let them say it directly... then we can take a decision about how to react", said Lavrov, who also rejected calls by Nikki Haley, the USA ambassador to the United Nations, for Russian Federation to cut ties with Pyongyang, stopping the sale of oil products and deporting North Korean workers. North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Un said this test showed that North Korea had become a full nuclear power.

Haley called on all nations to "cut off all ties with North Korea" and specifically highlighted China's influence over the rogue regime during an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council.

"The latest USA actions look created to deliberately provoke Pyongyang into taking new extreme action", Mr Lavrov told reporters in Belarus, according to a Russian Foreign Ministry transcript.

"We were encouraged by that approach".

"We have repeatedly stated that the pressure of sanctions has been exhausted", he told reporters in Minsk. And then suddenly. they announced large-scale exercises in December.

He said: "North Korea will be risky in about nine months or so because then two things are going to happen at the same time".

"If the United States drops out of this deal, it won't be very credible in the eyes of those who are now requested to drop their (own) nuclear programme like North Korea", Lavrov said. Germany was also demanding North Korea reduce its diplomatic presence in Germany.

Meanwhile, Trump's Principal Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah said: "We'll see future actions by the U.S. and others and we're looking forward to applying as much pressure as we can to get to our ultimate goal, which is a denuclearised Korean Peninsula".