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N Korean missiles posed no threat to Russia : Top military officia

Written by: Staff

Moscow, July 7 (UNI) The Chief of General Staff of Russian Armed Forces, Gen Yury Baluyevsky today said the intercontinental ballistic missiles test-fired by North Korea earlier this week, posed no threats to the country as they fell in the ocean far away from the Russian coast.

''All missiles fell in the Sea of Japan approximately at the 40th parallel,'' Gen Baluyevsky said presenting a report to the State Duma, the lower house of Parliament. The 40th parallel passes at about 350 kilometres from the Russian coast.

''This means they were far away from Russian territory,'' RIA Novosti news agency quoted him as saying.

Pyongyang had test-fired several ballistic missiles, including a long-range Taepodong-2, despite a moratorium on missile tests.

According to the Japanese military, at the time, all missiles fell in the northwestern part of the Sea of Japan closer to Russia than to Japan.

''I would not dare to claim that Russia's Armed Forces are not capable of accomplishing their objectives,'' Gen Baluyevsky said referring to the concerns that Russia's radar network had failed to detect the launch of missiles.

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov today said that there was no alternative to diplomatic talks to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue.

Mr Lavrov said in an interview to the government newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta, published today that North Korea can only be returned to the nuclear non-proliferation regime through negotiations.

''We have to do everything possible to achieve the goal that we all want to see - the resolution of a nuclear problem on the Korean peninsula,'' he said adding ''It can be achieved through N Korea's return to nuclear non-proliferation regime and the elimination of all threats against this regime.'' He said the UN Security Council must firmly but calmly assess the situation around the North Korean missile tests, pointing out that immediate sanctions against Pyongyang would be counterproductive.

''We are convinced that the UN Security Council must react firmly, but without threats that will provoke threats in response. The reaction should be well-calculated and aimed at only resuming the talks,'' Mr Lavrov said.


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