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N Korea’s new steps can ease tensions on Korean Penisnula -- MP

February 29, 2012, 23:19 UTC+3

“We may at last see some change on the peninsula,” he added

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MOSCOW, February 29 (Itar-Tass) —— North Korea’s new steps can help ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula, State Duma Defence Committee First Deputy Chairman Sergei Zhigarev said.

“I think that they [North Korea] are not going to follow the path chosen by Iran. They are ready to cooperate with international organisations and are prepared for an opener position” even though “they have always been quite closed”, the MP told Itar-Tass on Wednesday, February 29.

He linked the changes in Pyongyang’s policy to the appointment of Kim Jong-un as the country’s new leader. “The young leader, who has come to power, given his pro-Western education and a broader and open view of the world, can embark on the path of detente, not tensions in relations,” Zhigarev said,.

He believes that relations “between the two Koreas is the hottest issue in the East”.

“We may at last see some change on the peninsula,” he added.

His colleague, State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee First Deputy Chairman Konstantin Kosachev noted that Pyongyang’s moratorium on nuclear activities is the way for North Korea to put an end to international isolation.

“This is the only correct decision of the new DPRK leadership, which can lead the country out of international isolation and return to the community of nations,” Kosachev said.

However he warned that this decision should “be verifiable”.

Kosachev believes that the next step for North Korea to take should be a resumption of talks with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula as well as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty from which Pyongyang seceded unilaterally.

“Russia can only welcome this decision of the DPRK leadership but access to the country by IAEA inspectors will be a test for it,” the MP said.

The North Korean Foreign Ministry said earlier in the day that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has agreed to introduce a moratorium on nuclear tests, long-range missile launches and the program of uranium enrichment exercised at the nuclear research centre at Yongbyon.

The decision was made in reply to a request from the U.S. and announced after U.S.-North Korean consultations in Beijing.

North Korea has also agreed to let inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to visit Yongbyon and watch compliance with the moratorium on uranium enrichment operations.

Russia is now studying information regarding Pyongyang’s readiness to impose a moratorium on nuclear activities and let IAEA inspectors into the country, a Foreign Ministry source said.

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