State Department: US, Russia Agree to Continue Diplomacy Over N. Korea

North Korea Sanctions Are Ineffective

Peskov's comments come just days after the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a new set of US-drafted sanctions on North Korea in response to Pyongyang's November 29 ballistic missile test.

Separately, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced that Washington was "ready to talk anytime" with North Korea "without precondition", but emphasised that "the diplomatic effort has to be backed up by a very credible military alternative".

The two top diplomats also considered steps to overcome the conflicts in Syria while maintaining its territorial integrity, including the plan to hold an inter-Syrian national dialogue in Russia's Sochi.

According to a Russian foreign ministry statement quoted by AFP, Lavrov told Tillerson that it is "necessary to move from the language of sanctions to the negotiating process as soon as possible".

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks during a news conference following the talks with British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson in Moscow, Russia, December 22, 2017.

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State Department: US, Russia Agree to Continue Diplomacy Over N. Korea

"We define this "sanctions resolution" rigged up by the USA and its followers as a grave infringement upon the sovereignty of our Republic, as an act of war violating peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula and the region and categorically reject the 'resolution, '" the statement said.

North Korea had threatened to punish all those countries who supported the bid for sanctions which was imposed following Pyongyang's latest intercontinental ballistic missile test.

However, on the same call on Tuesday, Mr Lavrov criticised President Donald Trump's "aggressive rhetoric" towards North Korea, as many world leaders and the United Nations have before.

Tillerson's rhetoric appears to have been reflected in US policy as well.

A day after the United Nations sanctions, North Korea's state media called the stricter controls "an act of war" by a "frenzied" Trump administration.

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