Europe

Russia denies it is moving troops close to North Korea

Russian authorities are denying reports that they are moving troops to the border with North Korea over growing tensions in the Korean peninsula.

The Interfax news agency on Friday quoted Alexander Gordeyev, spokesman for the Far Eastern Military district, as saying that the movement of heavy weaponry, caught on film and widely distributed on social media, is part of "absolutely scheduled maneuvers of combat readiness." Gordeyev said the military hardware was on its way back from drills elsewhere and denied any connection to the tensions around North Korea's nuclear program.

In Moscow, first deputy chairman of the defense committee at the Federation Council Frants Klintsevich told RIA Novosti the movement was pre-planned and dismissed reports suggesting Russia was preparing for a possible U.S. attack on North Korea as speculation.