While North Korea is talking tough about a war with the U.S., it is apparently looking forward to dialogue with Washington.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says North Korea wants to sit down with the U.S. to seek guarantees on its security.
He was quoted by several sources as passing on that message to U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Vienna on Thursday.
The two met on the sidelines of a ministerial conference of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
Lavrov said Russia is ready to support North Korea's dialogue with the U.S. adding that it's willing to help facilitate such negotiations.
Meanwhile, Russia's foreign ministry said Tillerson and Lavrov agreed that Pyongyang must thoroughly abide by UN Security Council resolutions.
This comes after North Korea blasted the U.S. on Thursday for the large-scale combat drills taking place over the peninsula, saying the exercises are "confrontational warmongering that makes a war inevitable."
On its state-run news channel, North Korea added that "it does not wish for a war, but it will not hide from it."
Responding to the tension, China's foreign ministry spokesman urged all parties to stay calm and to refrain from provoking each other.
He said a war would benefit neither side and would threaten the lives of many people.
Against this backdrop, China has sent a special envoy to the U.S. to discuss North Korea-related issues.
Beijing's Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Zheng Zeguang is set to meet Matt Pottinger, the head of Asian affairs at the White House's National Security Council.
Park Jong-hong, Arirang News.