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Top US, Russian diplomats discuss need for urgent North Korea negotiations

The new US steps were the latest in a campaign aimed at forcing North Korea - which has defied years of multilateral and bilateral sanctions - to abandon a weapons program aimed at developing nuclear-tipped missiles capable of hitting the United States.

"Russia is ready if both sides need it and want it", Peskov said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday urged the United States and North Korea to start a dialogue and said the U.S. should make the first move.

Russian Federation and China have the relatively closest diplomatic relations with insular North Korea, which poses a nuclear threat to its neighbor South Korea and that country's allies Japan and the U.S. Tillerson and Lavrov agreed that the nuclear and missile investigations in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea are a violation by the United Nations Security Council. In response, North Korea strongly condemned the maneuvers.

Seoul's 2018 prediction, however, comes after it has established a specialized military team that will be ready to deal with the North's nuclear threats.

So far, Trump has said he is not willing to negotiate with North Korea until its leaders abandon their nuclear weapons program.

In the wake of the extreme deterioration of the crisis in the region this summer amid Pyongyang's repeated missile launches and a nuclear test, Russian Federation and China have proposed the so-called "double freeze" plan aimed to settle the situation, which urges North Korea to halt nuclear tests and urges the United States and South Korea to cease joint drills.

In a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency, North Korea said the United States was terrified by its nuclear force and was getting "more and more frenzied in the moves to impose the harshest-ever sanctions and pressure on our country".

The measures order North Koreans working overseas to return home within two years and ban almost 90 percent of refined petroleum exports to the country. 29 test of an ICBM that Pyongyang said put all of the US mainland within range of its nuclear weapons.

South Korea also offered an optimistic prediction on Tuesday, saying North Korea may be willing in the new year to engage in talks with the U.S., Reuters reported.

Kim Jong-un interprets this as preparations for invasion.

The United States stations 28,500 troops in the South, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War, and regularly carries out military exercises with Seoul.

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