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Russia warns against new sanctions, use of force against N. Korea

Russia warned on Tuesday that new sanctions and the use of force against North Korea’s regime would be a path to catastrophe, after Pyongyang launched a missile that flew over Japanese territory before landing in the Pacific Ocean.

“I think we have to fight with all our strength against this option. If this ends in war, nobody will ever ask who is responsible. We will face a totally new reality and the tragedies will be countless,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told journalists in Astana, Efe reported.

The UN Security Council, which is scheduled to hold a session in New York on Tuesday, must conclude that measures calling for the use of force are categorically unacceptable, Ryabkov said.

“Sanctions do not produce results. That is why the mechanism of political regulation of the Korean Peninsula’s nuclear problem is important. This means intolerance toward new provocations from Pyongyang, but also toward a military escalation by the US and its allies in the region,” the deputy foreign minister said.

Russia and China have offered a road map involving the “double freezing” of both North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests, and US military activities in the area, Ryabkov said.

The UN Security Council meeting was urgently requested by the US, Japan and South Korea after the launch of the missile.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had a telephone conversation with US President Donald Trump and they agreed to put more pressure on Pyongyang.

This was the 13th launch of a ballistic missile by North Korea so far this year.

The first launch occurred on July 4 and led the Security Council to approve a package of new sanctions against North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s regime.

The latest missile, launched from the vicinity of the North Korean capital, is the first since 2009 to have flown over Japan, travelling more than 2,700 km and falling into the sea about 1,180 km off Cape Erimo, which is located in the northeastern end of the Japanese archipelago.

The new weapons test came after Pyongyang on Saturday launched three short-range ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan and tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles last month.

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