Russian army denies building up forces near North Korea: Ifax




MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Russian military said on Friday it was not building up its forces near the border with North Korea, denying earlier media reports which said it was, the Interfax news agency reported, citing an army spokesman.

Some media in Russia's Ear East have cited local residents as saying they had seen military hardware being moved toward North Korea as tensions with the United States over its nuclear programme escalated.

"These are totally pre-planned military exercises, which are in no way related to political issues," Alexander Gordeyev, a spokesman for Russia's Eastern military district was quoted as saying.

He said the hardware that people had seen was being transported back to the bases where it was permanently deployed after the end of the exercises.

(Reporting by Polina Devitt; Writing by Maria Tsvetkova; Editing by Andrew Osborn)

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