Russia pours scorn on US' call to cut ties with North Korea

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The US' tough stance on the North has angered Putin who blasted Washington for pushing the world closer to war. The proposal called for North Korea to curb its nuclear and missiles tests in return for the United States giving up on joint military drills with South Korea in the region, but was rejected by Washington.

His foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said: "We see this negatively".

Tensions have been on the rise on the Korean Peninsula in recent months as Pyongyang keeps pursuing its nuclear program and missile testing despite global sanctions and condemnation, while the U.S. and its allies intensify drills near the North Korean borders.

"China would defend North Korea because it's an ally and because it's in China's strategic interests to have an allied Communist state as a buffer state rather than a Korean peninsula unified under a South Korean flag", she said.

He added: "The impression is that everything has been done to prompt Kim Jong-un to lost it and take another reckless step".

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"According to North Korean representatives, they were forced to demonstrate the ability to adequately respond to any aggression from the USA, the ability to strike at any territory of America". Earlier this week, Haley said that the USA is prepared to "utterly" destroy North Korea's regime if a war erupts.

The US ambassador also urged the countries that still have relations with North Korea to sever them.

Attacking remarks made by US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, he also said using force against Pyongyang would be "a big mistake", TASS news agency reported. Russian delegates who recently visited Pyongyang say North Korea is ready to hold direct talks with Washington, but only on the condition that it recognize the regime as a nuclear power.

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.

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