Russian FM discusses tensions on Korea Peninsula in Thailand
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has traveled to Thailand to discuss the tension on the Korean Peninsula as well as the need for more cooperation on cyber security and counter-terrorism efforts.
Lavrov held meetings with Thailand's top officials in Bangkok on Thursday in what was seen as Russia’s renewed attempt to weigh in surging disputes between the United States and allies in Asia on the one side and North Korea on the other side.
He said after meeting with Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai that the United Nations should remain as the sole platform for solving the dispute over North Korea, a country that has threatened to attack the US and its allies with intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM).
Lavrov said during a press briefing, where no questions were taken, that the parties to the conflict on the Korean Peninsula should move toward a peaceful resolution of tensions through the UN channels.
The top Russian diplomat did not comment on North Korea’s threats that it could launch a salvo of ICBMs toward the US Pacific territory of Guam; neither did he elaborate on a more hawkish stance adopted by US President Donald Trump toward Pyongyang in recent days.
Lavrov’s visit to Thailand comes just two days after his US counterpart Rex Tillerson traveled to Bangkok to discuss North Korea.
Lavrov said Thailand remained Russia’s “oldest Southeast Asian ally,” a reference to a history of more than 120 years of visits exchanged between the leaders of the two countries.
During the meetings, Thai officials told Lavrov that they had stepped up efforts to boost cyber security, something repeatedly raised by Russian officials in bilateral meetings.
“Our friend has informed me that according to the initiative of the prime minister, they want to open here in Thailand a center for cyber security under the aegis of ASEAN,” Lavrov said, making a reference to the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations whose recent meeting in the Philippines focused heavily on North Korea's weapons program.