Russia hosts North Korean diplomat for talks on new tensions

Russia's Foreign Ministry says it has hosted a senior North Korean diplomat for talks on ways to defuse tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

The ministry said Choe Son Hui, chief of the North American department of the North Korean Foreign Ministry, met with Oleg Burmistrov, a Russian diplomat dealing with the issue. Choe also met Friday with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov.

The ministry says Russia reaffirming its willingness to work with North Korea in identifying ways to resolve regional problems "through peaceful and political-diplomatic ways, including in the context of promoting the Russian-Chinese roadmap for a Korean settlement."

Moscow and Beijing have promoted a simultaneous freeze on Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs and U.S. and South Korean military drills.