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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia Opposes New Sanctions on N. Korea - Lavrov

RIA Novosti

13:53 13/04/2012

MOSCOW, April 13 (RIA Novosti) - Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov opposed new sanctions against North Korea after the country’s much-hyped rocket launch failed on Friday.

“We do not believe in new sanctions, they will not help resolve the situation,” Lavrov told a joint news conference with his Chinese and Indian counterparts in Moscow.

The minister admitted that North Korea did violate UN Security Council resolutions and this situation had to be addressed but warned that new sanctions would hardly be a good solution.

The United States said the launch was cover for a ballistic missile test banned under UN resolutions. In February, Pyongyang agreed to suspend its nuclear activities as well as long-range missile tests in return for U.S. food aid.

Lavrov said North Korea would be allowed to pursue its civilian space program as soon as all UN Security Council sanctions were lifted.

“Our position is simple: North Korea has the right to use space for peaceful purposes but at the moment this right is restricted by relevant UN Security Council resolutions,” he said, adding that the sanctions would be canceled as soon as the situation allowed.

Russia and China together with the U.S., Japan, South and North Koreas are the six negotiators on North Korea’s nuclear program. The UN Security Council will meet later on Friday to discuss North Korea’s launch.

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