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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Russia urges North Korea to shun rocket launch plan

Iran Press TV

Thu Feb 4, 2016 3:36PM

Russia has expressed its disapproval of North Korea's planned rocket launch, urging Pyongyang to avoid such moves that could further heighten tensions in the region.

Russia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday that it had summoned the North Korean ambassador to Moscow to hear Moscow's objection to Pyongyang's recent announcement that it will launch a satellite-bearing rocket this month.

'The Korean side has been insistently urged to refrain from actions that can further escalate tensions in the region,' the statement read, calling for 'unconditional observance of the relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions.'

Russia further called on North Korea to resume dialog over its nuclear program and other issues.

The two Koreas remain technically at war after the 1950-53 Korean War ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty. Pyongyang walked away from the six-party talks on its nuclear program in 2008.

On Tuesday, Pyongyang notified three UN agencies that it plans to launch an earth observation satellite sometime between February 8 and 25.

The announcement angered South Korea and Japan, with both of them threatening to destroy any projectile or debris that falls on their territories.

North Korea declared itself a nuclear power in 2005 and carried out several nuclear weapon tests in 2006, 2009 and 2013. It also conducted its fourth nuclear test in January, triggering condemnation from the international community.

Pyongyang is under UN sanctions over launching missiles considered by the US and South Korea as ballistic and aimed at delivering nuclear warheads.

North Korea says it is boosting defense capabilities in the face of enemy threats. The country is irked by joint military maneuvers by South Korea and the US and views them as direct threats against its security.

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