Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov argued that the United States could have «deliberately» provoked Pyongyang to take «tough actions,» when speaking to the press, in Minsk, Thursday. Lavrov argued that «Washington's recent steps seem to be deliberately aimed at provoking Pyongyang to take some tough actions.» Commenting on North Korea's series of missile launches, the Russian foreign... Еще minister said that the US seems to have done «everything on purpose to make [North Korean leader] Kim Jong-un lose control and make another desperate move.» He said, «In September, our American colleagues hinted that the next military drills in the region were set to be held in spring; hence, North Korea could take advantage of the break and refrain from desperate moves, and why not try to build dialogue under this situation. We were encouraged by such statements. And suddenly, after we were told that they would be holding drills in spring, they are holding unscheduled drills in October, then in November, and now they announced that large-scale unscheduled drills would be held in December.» The Russian diplomat called on Washington «to explain to us all what they are actually up to. If they seek a pretext to destroy North Korea, they should openly say so and the US leadership should confirm it. Then we would decide how to respond.» On Wednesday, North Korea announced the launch of a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) which could «target the entire area of mainland United States.» The launch was the first since September 15, when North Korea fired a ballistic missile over the Japanese island Hokkaido, eventually falling into the Pacific Ocean.