US attempts to shift blame onto Russia & China over N. Korea are baseless – Moscow
The Russian Foreign Ministry has again called on the international community to "refrain from any steps that would further escalate tensions" on the Korean Peninsula, saying that Washington is playing a "baseless" blame game.
"We consider the attempts of the US and some other countries to shift the responsibility in what is happening [on the Korean Peninsula] onto Russia and China, and to almost blame Moscow and Beijing for 'conniving in' North Korea's nuclear missile ambitions, as baseless," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Monday.
"We call on all sides involved to refrain from any steps that could lead to further escalation of tensions," it added.
Earlier, the US envoy to the UN, Nikki Haley, said that any new resolution by the UN Security Council "that does not significantly increase the international pressure on North Korea is of no value."
The US diplomat said the time for talk on the issue was "over," and that political means to peacefully resolve the crisis would only show "to the North Korean dictator [Kim Jong-un] that the international community is unwilling to seriously challenge him."
The Russian Foreign Ministry statement said that Moscow is "very much concerned about the recent developments" in the region, referring to North Korea's latest ballistic missile launch on Friday, which "directly violates UN Security Council resolutions."
However, the increasing military activity of other countries such as the US, South Korea and Japan are no less worrying, the ministry added, also citing the deployment of US missile defense units to South Korea.
After saying that the latest North Korean launch was an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test, Seoul requested discussions with Washington on the deployment of additional Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) units.
Moscow, however, says Pyongyang launched an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM).
"It is Russia and China who have jointly worked out a roadmap that would exclude the use of force and solve issues on the Korean Peninsula, including the nuclear one, through diplomatic means, by establishing dialogue without any preliminary conditions," Moscow's statement said.
Beijing has also said it believes that the only way to resolve the North Korean crisis is through diplomacy.
"China will continue to work together with the international community to promote the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," it said, denouncing US President Donald Trump's claims that Beijing "does nothing" to reduce tensions in the region.