GENEVA, April 24. /TASS/. Russia will continue efforts to promote diplomatic settlement on the Korean Peninsula, a high-ranking Russian Foreign Ministry official said on Tuesday.
Speaking at a meeting of the Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), Vladimir Yermakov, director of the ministry’s non-proliferation and arms control department, noted that Russia rejected North Korea’s claims for a nuclear status. "We think it inadmissible to ignore relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council. At the same time, we must not turn a blind eye on the obvious: denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is possible only when comprehensive solution to all problems of security in Northeast Asia, including the acute problem of the growing potential of the US missile defense system, is found," he said.
The Russian diplomat recalled that Russia and China "jointly offered a phased roadmap for movement towards this goal, which is topical now as never before."
"We will continue to offer all-round support to any political and diplomatic efforts towards settling the situation on the Korean Peninsula," Yermakov stressed. He expressed "cautious optimism" over the positive tendencies in this area, "including a series of top-level contacts Pyongyang has recently had and North Korea’s statements on the suspension of nuclear tests and launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles."
"We hail such development of the situation," he emphasized.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un announced on April 21 that Pyongyang was halting nuclear and missile tests, closing its nuclear test site Punggye-ri and joining the global nuclear disarmament process in line with its new strategy to build socialist economy.