Washington reaction to ICBM test a "bloodthirsty tirade": Lavrov

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She was part of a delegation of Russian lawmakers just back from a visit to North Korea. The proposal called for North Korea to curb its nuclear and missiles tests in return for the U.S. giving up on joint military drills with South Korea in the region, but was rejected by Washington.

"Unfortunately, in the last couple of months there has been an impression that there are people in Washington who are trying to provoke Pyongyang to make new reckless moves at any cost", the minister said.

Tensions have been on the rise on the Korean Peninsula in recent months as Pyongyang keeps pursuing its nuclear program and missile testing despite worldwide sanctions and condemnation, while the USA and its allies intensify drills near the North Korean borders.

Russian news agencies quoted Lavrov as saying: "If somebody is very eager to use force to wipe out North Korea, as the United States' U.N. envoy said, it was a very bloodthirsty tirade".

Lavrov pointed to Washington's plans to conduct a large- scale air force drill with South Korea in December, a new show of force aimed at the Kim regime, saying the United States would be better off if it tried to hold negotiations instead.

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"There's a feeling that [the U.S. was] intentionally provoking [North Korea's] Kim Jong-un to break that pause, to fall for their provocation", he said.

US President Donald Trump derided Kim as a "sick puppy" and threatened "major" new sanctions. Russian delegates who recently visited Pyongyang say North Korea is ready to hold direct talks with Washington, but only on the condition that it recognize the regime as a nuclear power.

During the subsequent, combative session of the UNSC, Haley called on North Korea's neighbors to do more to enforce sanctions, while Russia's representative Vasily Nebenzia criticised Washington's use of sanctions and military exercises in the region.

The Kremlin yesterday called the latest missile test a "provocative action" and appealed for calm on all sides. "No one can doubt that this threat is growing".

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