A top Russian official said Sunday at a security conference in Singapore that North Korea’s nuclear ambitions are a “direct threat to Russia.”  Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin told defense ministers and experts from 39 countries that Pyongyang’s missile defense system “has a real function.” “That is why it is alarming. And it is direct threat

to Russia. We are convinced that it will increase the tensions of the region. That is our principle position,” he said. Once considered a strong ally, Russia has backed fresh sanctions against North Korea. In early June, Russia’s deputy U.N. Ambassador Vladimir Safronkov reaffirmed this commitment, “the choice here has to be made in favor of using diplomatic tools to the maximum extent possible.” READ MORE