Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov on Tuesday said that the Russian government is working on a strategy to force North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program.
"“The issue is ensuring that all countries in the sub-region feel equally safe, and in the case of North Korea, there should be guarantees that would lead to Pyongyang’s refusal from its missile and nuclear programs," Morgulov told Sputnik News.
"We are convinced that military provocations, saber rattling, militant statements, wherever they emanate from, only exacerbate the situation, bringing it to a critical point."
Meanwhile, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley told Reuters, "I’m concerned that Russia may backfill North Korea. We don’t have proof of that, but we are watching that carefully."
"We just need to keep the pressure on China, we need to keep our eyes on Russia, and we need to continue to let the North Korea regime know we are not looking for regime change.... We just want them to stop the nuclear activity."
Last week, US President Donald Trump on Twitter wrote that China's efforts "had not worked out" and a senior White House official said China had "fallen far short of expectations."
"We very much want to see China do more than it’s willing to do, while we do realize it’s doing more than it’s done in the past,” the official said Wednesday during a telephone conference. “I think there is plenty more pressure that can be brought to bear on North Korea," he said.
During a security conference on Wednesday, US National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster on Wednesday said, "The threat is much more immediate now and so it’s clear that we can’t repeat the same approach – failed approach of the past."
Until now, the US government has played the primary role, requesting that China place financial pressures on its neighbor. In response to US pressure, China in April threatened to sanction North Korea if it carried out additional nuclear tests.