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10:14 19 January
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US, Russia agree to peacefully solve North Korea crisis


The U.S. and Russia have agreed to work together to diplomatically resolve the issue of North Korea’s ballistic and nuclear missile programs, the State Department said Wednesday, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.

 

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reached the agreement during a phone call Tuesday, said spokesperson Heather Nauert.

 

"The two discussed concerns related to the DPRK’s destabilizing nuclear program and emphasized that neither the United States nor Russia accepts the DPRK as a nuclear power," she said, referencing the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the North’s official name.

 

The move follows mixed signals from Washington on how President Donald Trump plans to fulfill his promise to "take care of" the North.

 

Earlier this month, Tillerson offered unconditional talks with Pyongyang but quickly backtracked and realigned with Washington's policy of allowing sanctions to bite, insisting that good behavior must come before dialogue.

 

He reiterated at the time that the U.S. was considering "all options" to defend itself but said “we do not seek, nor do we want, war with North Korea. The United States will use all necessary measures to defend itself against North Korean aggression, but our hope remains that diplomacy will produce a resolution."

 

North Korea has test-fired 15 missiles so far in 2017 and conducted its sixth underground nuclear test in September.

 

Nauert said Tillerson and Lavrov also discussed the situation in Syria, agreeing on the importance of the Geneva process in achieving a peaceful resolution.

 

She added that Washington also raised concerns over the increasing violence in eastern Ukraine.

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