Russia is backing a diplomatic solution to increasing tensions between North Korea and the USA.
The Kremlin urged all countries to show restraint as relations between the two powerful nations became frostier after North Korea warned Donald Trump it is prepared for war.
In a frank interview in Pyongyang, North Korea’s vice foreign minister said the country was ready to use its “powerful nuclear deterrent”.
Han Song Ryol also blamed President Trump’s “aggressive” tweets for “making trouble”.
The top diplomat said: “We will go to war if they choose.
“We've got a powerful nuclear deterrent already in our hands, and we certainly will not keep our arms crossed in the face of a US pre-emptive strike.”
His comments come as the US sent an aircraft carrier to waters off the Korean peninsula. The US is also carrying out its biggest-ever joint military exercise with South Korea.
On Friday the Kremlin said it would back diplomatic methods to resolve the Korean peninsula crisis and tensions over the North Korean nuclear programme.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters: “We call all countries for restraint, we call all the countries to refrain from any actions that could amount to provocative steps.”