A senior North Korean official in charge of USA affairs arrived in Vladivostok on Monday to speak with a Russian ambassador on ways of dealing with rising tensions between Washington and Pyongyang.
Choe Son-hui, director-general of the North American department of North Korea's foreign ministry, traveled to Moscow to meet with Russian ambassador-at-large oleg Burmistrov and Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov.
Neither Russia or China want a capitalist, pro-Western state on their border so have propped up the North Korean regime for decades.
"Diplomacy is our preferred approach", Nauert told a regular briefing.
Moscow is considered friendly toward its former communist ally, but the country voted in favor of recent United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions condemning North Korea's nuclear and missile provocations.
On Monday, North Korea's foreign minister, Ri Yong Ho, said the isolated state had the right to "shoot down" U.S. planes - even if they were not in the country's airspace.
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Other senior administration officials are more suspicious.
US President Donald Trump had on Wednesday said that he was prepared for a "military option" on North Korea, warning that the move would be devastating.
Choe's visit comes as North Korea, often called the most closed nation in the world, has grown even more isolated after carrying out its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on September 3. Moscow lobbied to weaken the sanctions, particularly regarding a full oil embargo.
Pyongyang's leaning on Moscow as its "blood tie" with Beijing has weakened, especially after China made a decision to suspend all coal imports from the North in February.
Nauert said Friday's talks would follow a visit to Moscow by the USA special envoy for North Korea, Joseph Yun, about two weeks ago.
Russian Federation has been wary of USA flights of strategic bombers over the peninsula, Tass news agency reported.
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