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Russia says ready to exert influence on North Korea - Ifax

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Russia says ready to exert influence on North Korea - Ifax

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(Corrects source in headline, first paragraph of Dec. 5 story; adds source in 2nd paragraph.)

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia has communication channels with North Korea open and Moscow is ready to exert its influence on Pyongyang, Interfax news agency quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov as saying on Tuesday.

He was also quoted by RIA as saying that North Korea was seeking a direct dialogue with the United States on its nuclear programme, while it was not in need of security guarantees either from China or Russia.

In Washington, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Katina Adams said the Trump administration still wanted a peaceful, diplomatic solution to the nuclear and missile threat from Pyongyang, but told Reuters: “(North Korea) has shown through its actions that it is not interested in talks. We must remain focused on increasing the costs for Pyongyang to continue to advance its WMD programs."

(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin in Moscow and David Brunnstrom in Washington; editing by Mark Heinrich)

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