Russia denies any cooperation with US on North Korea

Press TV – Russian authorities have denied reports that Moscow and Washington have started cooperating on an escalating standoff over North Korea.

In a Saturday statement, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov rejected there was any cooperation between Russia, a main North Korea ally, and the US, a main adversary, on the situation on the Korean Peninsula, where the North has intensified its weapons and nuclear programs in an apparent response to increasing pressure by the US and allies.

“There is no cooperation so far. Only periodic exchanges of views,” Peskov told the RIA news agency.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov

The official, however, said that Russian President Vladimir Putin could discuss the issue in a potential meeting with his US counterpart Donald Trump if the two meet next week at an Asian economic summit in Vietnam. Peskov said there was a “great probability” for such a development.

North Korea and the US has been locked in a bitter standoff since Pyongyang began unveiling more of its missile potentials in July by test-firing two intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) which experts say could target the entire mainland United States. The North then carried out its most powerful nuclear test in August, prompting the US to pile more economic pressure on the country through new international sanctions.

North Korea blames the US for the intensified weapons program, saying Washington is provoking a nuclear war in the Korean Peninsula by staging joint military drills with South Korea and isolating the North economically through imposing more sanctions.

Russia and China, the two countries that enjoy better ties with Pyongyang, have warned against any escalation in the conflict while calling for more dialogue to resolve the issue.

Russian fighter jets have carried out sorties above waters near the peninsula, clearly sending a signal to the US that Moscow would not remain silent in case any military conflict erupts in the region.