Russia is ready to act as a mediator between North Korea and the United States if both parties are willing for it to play such a role, the Kremlin said yesterday, as a South Korean newspaper reported that the North is preparing to launch a satellite.
"Russia's readiness to clear the way for de-escalation is obvious," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a phone call with reporters.
The Joongang Ilbo Daily newspaper, citing an unnamed South Korean government official, said yesterday: "Through various channels, we have recently learnt that the North has completed a new satellite and named it Kwangmyongsong-5."
Experts have said such satellite launches are likely aimed at further developing the North's ballistic missile technology.
South Korea predicted yesterday that North Korea would look to open negotiations with the US next year in an optimistic outlook for 2018, even as Seoul set up a specialised military team to confront nuclear threats from the North.
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS
SEE TOP OF THE NEWS