Russia said Thursday that North Korea's disregard for UN restrictions was unacceptable and that its decision to pursue a nuclear program radically limited the chances of resuming stalled six-party nuclear talks.
Pyongyang formally rejected a UN Security Council resolution on March 9 that demanded an end to its nuclear arms program, signaling that it would defy international sanctions and pursue its goal of becoming a full-fledged nuclear weapons power.
"We have taken notice of the March decision … to further enhance the status of a country possessing nuclear arms for the purposes of self-defense," Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in a briefing.
"This radically complicates, if it doesn't in practice shut off, the prospects for resuming six-party talks," he said, referring to stalled aid-for-disarmament talks between the two Koreas as well as China, Russia, Japan and the United States.
"Attempts by Pyongyang to violate … decisions of the UN Security Council are categorically unacceptable," Lukashevich said.
North Korea has also said it would restart its shuttered Yongbyon nuclear reactor after leader Kim Jong-un declared at a policy-setting meeting of the ruling Workers' Party on Sunday that the country would bolster nuclear power and develop the economy.