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Lavrov: relations between Seoul and Pyongyang are extremely strained

Lavrov: relations between Seoul and Pyongyang are extremely strained 23.12.2010
Text: RIA Novosti
Photo: Sergei Lavrov. ruvr.ru
Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov considers the situation around North and South Koreas is extremely strained and regrets that UN Security Council made no resolutions on this matter.

On Monday South Korea held combat firing drills near Yeonpyeong Island which became the target for North Korean Navy on Nov 23 right after Seoul's analogous exercise. That incident caused several deaths, including among civilian islanders.

Lavrov pointed out that the firing drill had been finished and said there were no other information so far.

"There's no room for optimism here. That is why we offered to convene the UN Security Council immediately and without any condemnation to ask for maximum restraint. The situation is extremely strained. Such session did take place. Although unfortunately it has not resulted in any decisions, the signal was quite clear: the parties should withhold from all provocative actions which can destabilize the situation", said the minister at press conference in Moscow.

Few hours before the firing drills, authorities of Yeonpyeong appealed to the islanders with the request to hide in bomb shelters. Later on, local authorities arranged evacuation of 42 persons from DPRK frontier zone.

Last Friday North Korea warned that in response to planned South Korea's artillery firings it will deliver heavier strike upon southern neighbors.

Earlier on, Russian foreign ministry expressed concern over North Korea's statements and called South Korea to refrain from the planned exercise.

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