Russia's defense minister warned Saturday that possible UN sanctions against North Korea shouldn't contain a threat of using force.
Sergei Ivanov said that a UN Security Council resolution should send another signal to Pyongyang that the nuclear standoff must be resolved by "peaceful, political-diplomatic means."
"Of course, any use of force is out of the question," Ivanov said in televised remarks after talks with Chinese State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan, a senior envoy who visited Russia a day after meeting with US President George W. Bush. "For Russia and China, which border on North Korea, this issue is of primary importance."
Ivanov denounced the nuclear test North Korea claimed to have conducted Monday as "outrageous," but warned that any possible international sanctions must be aimed at encouraging Pyongyang to return to stalled six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear program, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported.