Trump says Merkel doesn't speak for US on NKorea

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she does not see a military solution to rising tensions between the United States and North Korea, and called for a de-escalation of the rhetoric.

"Our friend has informed me that according to the initiative of the prime minister, they want to open here in Thailand a center for cybersecurity under the aegis of ASEAN", Lavrov said.

She said Germany would work to find diplomatic solutions with the countries involved, the USA and China in particular, but also South Korea.

Russia, an ally of Iran, played a significant role in clinching the deal two years ago.

Lavrov noted that North Korea had once signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) but then withdrew from it.

"We do not accept nuclear North Korea (DPRK)", Lavrov said.

"Together with China we have a whole host of suggestions aimed at not allowed a wider conflict there with a large casualty count".

"Unfortunately, rhetoric in Washington and in Pyongyang begins to go off scale". Both officials took part in meetings in the Philippines with counterparts from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations - or ASEAN - that focused heavily on North Korea's push to advance its nuclear weapons and missile programs. State-run media ensures that the population gets the North Korean side of the story, but doesn't convey any sense of global concern about the situation.

The Swiss franc and the Japanese yen are often sought in times of geopolitical tension and have logged big gains against the dollar this week after U.S. President Donald Trump warned North Korea that it would face "fire and fury" if it threatened the United States.

"My personal opinion is that when you get close to the point of a fight breaking out, the side that is stronger and cleverer should take the first step away from the threshold of danger", said Lavrov, in remarks broadcast on state television. "I see the need for enduring work at the UN Security Council ... as well as tight cooperation between the countries involved, especially the United States and China".

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