US President Donald Trump says Washington hopes to receive more help from Russian President Vladimir Putin in efforts to convince North Korea to abandon its missile and nuclear weapons program.
Mr Trump told reporters he telephoned Mr Putin on Thursday and the pair discussed several issues.
“The primary point was to talk about North Korea, because we would love to have his help on North Korea. China’s helping, Russia’s not helping; we’d like to have Russia’s help,” Mr Trump said.
Mr Trump’s one-on-one chat came after Mr Putin praised the US president’s handling of the economy during his annual press conference in Moscow.
During his remarks in Moscow, Mr Putin said that growing markets have demonstrated investors’ confidence in Mr Trump’s economic course.
He also accused those investigating potential collusion between Russia and the 2016 Trump presidential campaign of damaging the US political situation, “incapacitating the president and showing a lack of respect to voters who cast their ballots for him”.
“All of it was invented by people who oppose President Trump to undermine his legitimacy.
“I’m puzzled by that. People who do it are inflicting damage to the country’s domestic political situation,” Mr Putin said.
The two presidents discussed ways to work together to address North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic weapons program, with Mr Putin warning the US against using force against the rogue nation.
Mr Trump has repeatedly said all options remain on the table.
Later, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called for a “sustained cessation of North Korea’s threatening behaviour” before talks could occur between Washington and Pyongyang.
“North Korea must earn its way back to the table. The pressure campaign must and will continue until de-nuclearization is achieved,” Mr Tillerson told a meeting of the United Nations Security Council.
Mr Tillerson also called on China and Russia to increase pressure on North Korea by going beyond the implementation of UN sanctions.
The Security Council has ratcheted up sanctions on North Korea over its weapons programs since 2006.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the Security Council it was time to re-establish communication channels with North Korea, including inter-Korean and military-to-military channels, to reduce the risk of conflict.
“While all concerned seek to avoid an accidental escalation leading to conflict, the risk is being multiplied by misplaced overconfidence, dangerous narratives and rhetoric, and the lack of communication channels,” Guterres said.
— with wires