Russia condemned North Korea’s nuclear test on Tuesday but did it in distinctly milder terms than either the United States or China.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said Pyongyang deserved “censure and adequate international reaction” for ignoring once again the norms of international law and demonstrating disregard for the U.N. Security Council’s decisions.
“We insist that North Korea put an end to all illegal actions, comply with all UNSC orders, fully give up its nuclear missile programs, and re-join the Treaty for the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and all-embracing safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA),” said the Russian Ministry in a statement posted on its website.
At the same time the Russian denunciation appeared to be less severe that by China, which said it was “resolutely opposed” to North Korea’s nuclear blast, or by U.S. President Barack Obama, who labelled the test a “highly provocative act” and called for “swift and credible action” against Pyongyang.
Russia made it clear its chief concern was to avoid a build-up of military tension in the region.
Moscow warned against using North Korea’s nuclear test as a “pretext for stepping up military activity” and “flexing nuclear missile muscles” in the region and called for “restraint”.
“There is pressing need for creating an effective system for safeguarding peace in the region that would be based on the principle of equal security for all participants under multilateral commitments for the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula,” said the Russian statement.