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Lavrov says too early to discuss final UN vote on North Korea

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday it was too early to talk about a vote at the UN Security Council on new North Korea sanctions, insisting any pressure should be balanced against restarting talks.

“Work is currently going on over a new resolution in the Security Council and it is still early to make predictions about its final form,” Lavrov said at a news conference with French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian.

“Along with pressure on the North Korean regime to induce it to abandon provocations in the implementation of its nuclear and missile programmes, it is necessary to emphasize and increase the priority of efforts to resume the political process,” Lavrov said.

The United States has presented a draft UN resolution calling for an oil embargo on North Korea, an assets freeze on leader Kim Jong-Un, a ban on textiles and an end to payments of North Korean guest workers.

Washington is determined to have a vote at the UN Security Council on Monday on imposing the tough new sanctions against Pyongyang, UN diplomats said.

The United States wants to maximise pressure on Pyongyang to come to the table and negotiate an end to its nuclear and missile tests.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly said that new sanctions will not help persuade Kim to drop his nuclear programme.

Security Council permanent member Moscow has not said explicitly however that it will veto the US plans.

The proposed sanctions would be the toughest-ever imposed on North Korea and seek to punish Pyongyang for its sixth and largest nuclear test.



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