Russia calls for end to 'over the top' rhetoric on N.K.

Russia calls for end to 'over the top' rhetoric on N.K.

Update 6.45pm: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said the risks of a military conflict over North Korea's nuclear program are rising and suggested the rhetoric was now "starting to go over the top".

Mr Lavrov also said Russia is deeply worried by the threats being traded by Washington and Pyongyang.

"We still hope and believe that common sense will prevail."

Asked about the risks of the stand-off escalating into armed conflict he said the risks were rising.

"Direct threats of using force are heard... The talk (in Washington) is that there must be a preventive strike made on North Korea, while Pyongyang is threatening to carry out a missile strike on the U.S. base in Guam. These (threats) continue non-stop, and they worry us a lot," he told a forum for Russian students.

"I won't get into guessing what happens 'if'. We will do whatever we can to prevent this 'if'."

"My personal opinion is that when you get close to the point of a fight breaking out, the side that is stronger and cleverer should take the first step away from the threshold of danger," Mr Lavrov said in remarks that were broadcast on state television.

Russia calls for end to 'over the top' rhetoric on N.K.

The Russian Foreign Minister also encouraged Pyongyang and Washington to sign up to a joint Russian-Chinese plan, under which North Korea would freeze its missile tests and the United States and South Korea would impose a moratorium on large-scale military exercises.

"If this double freezing finally takes place, then we can sit down and start from the very beginning - to sign a paper which will stress respect for the sovereignty of all those parties involved, including North Korea," Lavrov said.

- Reuters

Russia calls for end to 'over the top' rhetoric on N.K.

Update 3pm: German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said she sees no military solution to North Korea crisis.

Ms Merkel was reacting to President Donald Trump's warning of military action "should North Korea act unwisely".

President Trump tweeted this morning that "Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path."

Ms Merkel also declined to say whether Germany would stand with the US in case of a military conflict with North Korea.

Russia calls for end to 'over the top' rhetoric on N.K.

She said: "I don't see a military solution and I don't think it's called for."

Ms Merkel called on the UN Security Council to continue to address the issue.

She added: "I think escalating the rhetoric is the wrong answer."

Earlier: President Donald Trump has warned of military action "should North Korea act unwisely".

President Trump tweeted: "Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path."

North Korea has announced a detailed plan to launch a salvo of ballistic missiles toward the US Pacific territory of Guam, a major military hub and home to US bombers.

If carried out, it would be its most provocative missile launch to date.

President Trump said this week that the US would unleash "fire and fury" on North Korea if it continued with its threats.

Reacting to the deepening impasse the US defence secretary said America going to war with North Korea would be ’catastrophic’.

James Mattis insisted Washington wants to resolve the crisis with Pyongyang diplomatically.

Russia calls for end to 'over the top' rhetoric on N.K.

Meanwile, the British Labour leader says the UK has a role to play in bringing the US and North Korea, as he puts it, "back from the brink".

Mr Corbyn’s has called on the British government to urge Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un to speak to one another.

The Labour leader, a long time anti-war campaigner, said the result of a nuclear strike would go on for decades, adding: "I ask them both, calm down.

"There are phone calls that could be made, there's discussions that could be held.

"Surely in the interests of sanity and safety over the whole world, do it."

Mr Corbyn said Britain and other nations with nuclear weapons also had a role to play in reducing the tensions.

"All the five declared nuclear weapons states, which includes the United States, Russia and China, as well as Britain and France, need to get on board on this to bring North Korea back from the brink, bring Donald Trump back from the brink, and support the NPT (the treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons) and support the UN's efforts to make nuclear weapons illegal worldwide," he said.

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