Russia said Friday that UN sanctions on North Korea presented an obstacle to promoting dialogue and peace on the peninsula and that the penalties had not aided regional security.

"Over the years, international restrictive measures have not helped to improve the security situation in the region. On the contrary, in the absence of mechanisms to review sanctions measures in a mitigating manner, this instrument remains a serious irritant that hinders confidence-building and political dialogue," foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement.