Russia urged the U.S. to avoid any unilateral use of force against North Korea, warning this would be a highly dangerous step.
“If we are to understand the words of the U.S. vice president as a threat to use force unilaterally, it is course a very risky course of action,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in comments broadcast on state TV on Monday.
While Russia condemns the “brinkmanship’’ of the ballistic missile tests by the isolated Communist state in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions, this doesn’t justify breaking international law, Lavrov said. “So I really hope that the same unilateral actions we saw in Syria won’t happen.”
Russia maintains close ties to North Korea, with which it shares a border, but isn’t an ally to the regime like China.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Monday said “the era of strategic patience is over,” warning the U.S and its allies would act if China doesn’t use its influence to prod North Korea into giving up its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. Pence spoke during a visit to the demilitarized zone between North Korea and South Korea.
Russia and the U.S. clashed over President Donald Trump’s decision to order missile strikes on Syria on April 7 in response to a chemical weapons attack blamed on the Syrian regime. A visit by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Moscow last week failed to resolve the dispute.