North Korea has not taken into account Russia’s warnings about the continuation of the former’s missile program, Russian State Duma International Affairs Committee Chairman Leonid Slutsky said Wednesday.
Against the backdrop of repeated North Korean missile and nuclear tests, Russia and China proposed in July a double-freeze plan envisaging the cessation of Pyongyang’s nuclear activities in exchange for halting US-South Korean joint military drills. North Korea never reacted to the initiative, and conducted their most recent missile launch early on Wednesday.
“Unfortunately, Pyongyang does not take into consideration our admonishments yet. We will hope that common sense will prevail and there will not be more launches and such rhetoric will fade away,” Slutsky told reporters.
The official added that it was necessary to exert maximum efforts in order to de-escalate the situation on the Korean Peninsula, including through the means of parliamentary diplomacy.
“We should work in all the directions, as we have capabilities for it, including within the framework of parliamentary diplomacy. Our [State Duma] delegation in Pyongyang … is currently focusing on the issue, working with its partners in order to end this absolutely destructive escalation of tensions,” the lawmaker added.
According to Slutsky, by launching yet another missile, Pyongyang is attempting to fuel tensions and warn Washington that its nuclear weapons pose a direct threat to the United States.
The Hwasong-15 ballistic missile, launched on Wednesday, flew some 950 kilometers (590 miles) and reached an altitude of 4,475 kilometers. The flight lasted for 53 minutes, after which the missile fell into the Sea of Japan, within the Japanese exclusive economic zone. – Sputnik