Russia's top envoy to Pyongyang reportedly said he does not rule out the possibility of a nuclear test by North Korea in the event of continued provocation by the United States.
Ambassador Alexander Matsegora made the remarks in an interview with the Russian state media outlet Sputnik on Saturday.
The envoy said that if American provocations continue, if they become more and more dangerous, he does not rule out that the leadership of North Korea will be forced to decide to conduct a nuclear test to strengthen its defense capability.
Matsegora made similar remarks in his interview with Russia's state TASS news agency last Wednesday, saying that North Korea may decide to conduct a seventh nuclear test if the United States continues to take "provocative steps" in the region.
In the Sputnik interview, the envoy said that this is certainly an undesirable scenario, but if this does happen, the responsibility will lie entirely with the Americans and their allies.
He claimed that the United States is mentioning suspicions about Russia's purchase of North Korean weapons to pressure South Korea to provide arms support for Ukraine, but it would be a big mistake on the South Korean side.
The Russian envoy claimed that western countries, including the United States, do not have any evidence that North Korea is sending artillery shells and missiles to Russia, adding that he does not rule out the possibility of their attempt to manipulate the evidence.