Russian Federation on 'high alert' over escalating US-North Korea rhetoric

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Russia is open to negotiations and equitable dialogue with all partners, including the European Union and the US, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a meeting with the participants in the Russian Educational Youth Forum dubbed Terra Scientia on the Klyazma on Friday.

"I hope that after all groundless accusations against us that the acuteness of this issue for the U.S establishment will make them think twice", Lavrov said at a forum when asked regarding possible foreign interference in presidential elections in 2018. "Especially considering this rhetoric-direct threats to use force", Lavrov said.

The top Russian diplomat did not comment on North Korea's threats that it could launch a salvo of ICBMs toward the US Pacific territory of Guam; neither did he elaborate on a more hawkish stance adopted by US President Donald Trump toward Pyongyang in recent days.

"When a fight has almost broken out, the first step away from the unsafe threshold should be taken by the side that is stronger and smarter", Lavrov said. "We still hope and believe that common sense will prevail".

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Russian Federation has repeatedly voiced concern over the escalation on the Korean peninsula.

"Unfortunately, the rhetoric in Washington and Pyongyang is beginning to turn extreme".

He said after meeting with Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai that the United Nations should remain as the sole platform for solving the dispute over North Korea, a country that has threatened to attack the USA and its allies with intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM).

He did not elaborate on Russia's joint plan with China, though the pair's position on North Korea has long consisted of formally voicing opposition to North Korea's nuclear ambitions but also to USA military support for its allies in the region. Last month, Pyongyang conducted two tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles.

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