Russia Could Act as Mediator between USA and North Korea
Thursday, January, 4, 2018
Russia could be a mediator if discussions between North Korea and the United States can come together to discuss the issues causing strife, according to a spokesman from the Kremlin. As long as both sides are willing to work together, Russia would guide the talks and help the sides reach an agreement.
Russia’s offer comes days after a new set of US-drafted sanctions on North Korea were adopted by the UN Security Council. The sanctions were in response to North Korea’s recent ballistic missile test and ongoing tests by the country. The goal of the latest sanctions was to restrict the country’s energy supply, increase restrictions on smuggling, and stop the country from using workers overseas.
According to the United States’ UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, these are the strongest sanctions to date.
The UN voted unanimously to approve the sanctions, but Russia’s ambassador gave criticism, saying it was rushed through with last-minute amendments and that it targeted North Korean workers working outside of the country. More than 40,000 North Koreans work in Russia and send money back to their families in North Korea.
Russia’s Foreign Minister recently encouraged the United States and North Korea to begin talking and stated that the USA should be the one to make the first move because the country is “mightier and smarter.” The Foreign Minister also spoke with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson directly, making the same points he made publicly, and reinforced his belief that “hyping up the tensions around the Korean peninsula with Washington’s aggressive rhetoric” is unacceptable.