Russian politicians who visited Pyongyang say North Korea is not prepared to disarm, and while it did not want nuclear war it is morally ready for it, Russia's RIA news agency reports.
"They said they won't disarm, there cannot even be any talk of that," the agency quoted Svetlana Maximova as saying on Friday. She was part of a delegation of Russian lawmakers just back from a visit to North Korea.
Another member of the delegation, Kazbek Taisayev, was quoted as saying by RIA of the North Koreans: "They do not want war, they want to live normally, but if there is a threat from the United States, then they are morally ready for that war."
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The comments come as Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday called comments on North Korea from US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley "a bloodthirsty tirade" and said using force against Pyongyang would be a big mistake, the TASS news agency reported.
Haley earlier this week warned North Korea's leadership it would be "utterly destroyed" if war were to break out after Pyongyang test fired its most advanced missile, putting the US mainland within range, in violation of UN Security Council resolutions.
TASS cited Lavrov as saying using force against North Korea would be "playing with fire" and "a big mistake" and that Moscow would do everything it could to avoid such a scenario.