Russian FM: Haley's North Korea statement 'bloodthirsty'

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The foreign minister called the missile test "an adventure", but said that Washington has apparently been trying to goad North Korean leader Kim Jong-un into it.

Sergey Lavrov's statement at a Rome news conference with his Italian counterpart today came two days after Ambassador Nikki Haley said that if war breaks out over North Korea's missile tests, the country would be "utterly destroyed".

The U.S. can tolerate a nuclear-armed North Korea without its missiles aiming to do mischief.

"If someone really wants to use force to, as the USA representative to the United Nations put it, destroy North Korea.then I think that is playing with fire and a big mistake", Lavrov stated.

"We see this negatively", he told journalists in the Belarusian capital Minsk. "We have already said many times that sanctions pressure has exhausted itself". -South Korea military exercises planned for December, which he said "look created to deliberately provoke Pyongyang into taking new extreme action".

The air forces of the US and South Korea are scheduled to hold a regular joint drill early this month with six US F-22 Raptor stealth fighters taking part.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watches the launch of a Hwasong-12 missile September 16. KCNA via REUTERS
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watches the launch of a Hwasong-12 missile September 16. KCNA via REUTERS

"The impression is that everything has been done to prompt Kim Jong-Un to lose it and take another reckless step".

"The Americans should start with explaining their intentions to us all".

"If they are looking for a reason to destroy North Korea, then they should say it straight and the American leadership should confirm it", Lavrov said in remarks released by the foreign ministry.

"Let them say it directly... then we can take a decision about how to react", said Lavrov, who also rejected calls by Nikki Haley, the USA ambassador to the United Nations, for Russian Federation to cut ties with Pyongyang, stopping the sale of oil products and deporting North Korean workers.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has emerged as one of the most strident voices against punishing Pyongyang, insisting that further sanctions and threats are "useless" against a regime that feels cornered.

Russian Federation is setting the stage for sidelining the United States in the North Korean nuclear crisis that has been escalating for roughly four months, during which the administration of President Donald Trump has relied primarily on threats of total annihilation, sanctions, and name-calling.

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