Russia suggests North Korea taking step toward denuclearization
Russia’s deputy foreign minister said North Korea’s current pause in provocations -- the longest since last winter -- indicates a step toward denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, Bloomberg reports.
“I think North Korea’s restraint for the past two months is within the simultaneous freeze road map” suggested by China and Russia, Igor Morgulov told reporters in Seoul on Monday.
Russian and Chinese foreign ministers proposed in July a “double freezing” initiative, under which North Korea refrains from missile and nuclear tests, and the U.S. and South Korea halt large-scale military exercises.
The U.S. has rejected this proposal, arguing that its drills are defensive in nature. Earlier this month, it carried out its first exercise in a decade using three aircraft carriers in the region, and plans to conduct drills with South Korea’s air force in early December.
North Korea’s last provocation was on Sept. 15, when it fired its second missile over Japan in as many months. The 73-day pause is the longest since a 116-day break between October 2016 and February.