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Moscow Suggests Russia Could Host Talks Between U.S., North Korea


North Korean leader Kim Jong Un

An official in Russia’s Foreign Ministry says Russia could host talks between the United States and North Korea if Moscow is asked to do so.

Russia's ambassador at large, Oleg Burmistrov, said on December 29 that Moscow is “open to contacts and ready to provide a venue, if necessary,” for talks.

"We are ready to take part in such meetings if we are invited,” Burmistrov said.

Burmistrov also said the latest United Nations Security Council resolution on North Korea has “almost exhausted” the capacity of sanctions against North Korea over its nuclear weapons and long-range missile tests.

“There is no possibility to move further exclusively along the sanctions track," Burmistrov said.

Burmistrov’s remarks came a day after U.S. President Donald Trump criticized China over reports that Chinese ships have transferred oil to North Korean vessels at sea in violation of the UN sanctions.

Trump said on Twitter that China had been “Caught RED HANDED,” and said he was ‘very disappointed that China is allowing oil to go into North Korea.”

"There will never be a friendly solution to the North Korea problem if this continues to happen!" Trump said.

China on December 29 rejected Trump's accusation.

But South Korea’s Foreign Ministry on December 29 said that it briefly seized and inspected a Hong Kong-registered ship -- the Lighthouse Winmore --- in late November after it had transferred oil products to a North Korean vessel, the Sam Jong 2, in international waters.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, RIA Novosti, and Interfax
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