A top Russian official said Sunday at a security conference in Singapore that North Korea’s nuclear ambitions are a “direct threat to Russia.”
Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin told defense ministers and experts from 39 countries that Pyongyang’s missile defense system “has a real function.”
“That is why it is alarming. And it is direct threat to Russia. We are convinced that it will increase the tensions of the region. That is our principle position," he said.
Once considered a strong ally, Russia has backed fresh sanctions against North Korea.
In early June, Russia’s deputy U.N. Ambassador Vladimir Safronkov reaffirmed this commitment, “the choice here has to be made in favor of using diplomatic tools to the maximum extent possible.”
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, speaking at the same conference, said that North Korea presented a "clear and present danger."
The United States pushed tough new sanctions against Pyongyang Friday at the U.N. Security Council but they were ultimately blocked by China.
The Security Council voted unanimously to add 15 individuals and four entities linked to North Korea’s nuclear missile programs to a U.N. sanctions blacklist.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.