Sergei Lavrov urges calm among 'hotheads' over North Korea crisis
Russian-Chinese proposal could still pave way for diplomatic solution, he says
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov weighed in on the war of words between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean President Kim Jong-un, saying Friday that cooler heads need to prevail.
"We have to calm down the hotheads and understand that we need pauses, we need contacts," Lavrov told reporters during a news conference at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
He described the exchange of threats between Washington and Pyongyang as "quite bad, unacceptable."
Kim Jong Un of North Korea, who is obviously a madman who doesn't mind starving or killing his people, will be tested like never before!—@realDonaldTrump
Lavrov also warned that if the Iran nuclear deal falls apart, North Korea will have little incentive to give up its nuclear program in return for sanctions relief.
He said he was convinced a Russian-Chinese proposal could still pave the way for a diplomatic solution to the North Korea crisis.
Kremlin against Kurdish vote
Earlier in the day, Lavrov told his Iraqi counterpart Ibrahim al-Jaafari that Moscow supported Iraq's territorial integrity and sovereignty, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
Iraqi Kurds are expected to vote on Monday to back an independence drive that neighbouring countries and Western powers fear could break up the country and stir broader regional ethnic and sectarian conflict.
"The Russian side confirmed its constant support for the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq," the ministry said in a statement.
With files from Reuters and The Associated Press