Russia Offers to Mediate US-North Korea Talks
With the US announcing a new round of sanctions against North Korea on Tuesday, Russian officials faulted the US for its “aggressive rhetoric,” and reiterated their offer to mediate direct negotiations between the two countries.
Russia has made offers and references to them a few times in recent weeks, with North Korean officials having said they believe they need Russia to be at the table for any direct negotiations with the Trump Administration.
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has endorsed that idea, and spoke to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, again prevailing upon him the importance of direct negotiation. Tillerson isn’t perhaps the best target for this, as Tillerson has repeatedly called for such talks, only to be publicly rebuked by the White House for doing so.
North Korea had previously ruled out talks as well, saying they needed a deterrent capability that would allow them to negotiate equally with the US, though in recent weeks, since their most recent missile test, they’ve suggested they have such a deterrent, and are ready for such talks, provided Russia is there.