Russia urges 'restraint' over N. Korea tensions: Kremlin

Anyone who fails in their attempt to escape North Korea can expect to be punished, with many sent to labour camps
MANAN VATSYAYANA (AFP/File)
Russia's North Korea envoy concerned Trump could make fateful decision without North Korea experts on his team

Russia on Friday called for "restraint" over the situation in North Korea, warning against any "provocative steps" after Washington said it was assessing military options in response to the country's weapons programs.

"Moscow is watching with great concern the escalation of tensions on the Korean peninsula," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists.

"We call for restraint from all countries and warn countries not to pursue actions that could consist of any provocative steps," he added.

Speculation has mounted in recent days that Pyongyang is preparing to fire a trial nuke or missile when it marks a major anniversary on Saturday, prompting US President Donald Trump to pledge the matter "will be taken care of."

Trump has sent an aircraft carrier-led strike group to the Korean peninsula to press his point, in one of a series of signals indicating his willingness to shake up foreign policy strategy.

Russia's North Korea envoy Alexander Matsegora on Friday said he does not rule out a test or launch in the near future, expressing concern that Trump could take a fateful decision without any North Korea experts on his team.

"If Mr. Trump would listen to a Russian Korea expert with 40 years of experience, I would advise him not to do it," he told RIA-Novosti of a potential US strike.

"Right now we all must stop at the edge of the abyss and not take this fateful step," he said.

US President Donald Trump vowed Thursday that the "problem" of North Korea "will be taken care of."

"North Korea is a problem, the problem will be taken care of," Trump told reporters.

Separately on Twitter he expressed confidence China, Pyongyang's sole ally, would "properly deal with North Korea."

But, "if they are unable to do so, the U.S., with its allies, will! U.S.A."

Prior to the statement, China's foreign minister Wang Yi said Friday, that a conflict over North Korea could break out "at any moment" and warned that there would be "no winner" in any war, as tensions soar with the US.

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