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Expert says talks on North Korean nuclear program is deterring factor

June 08, 19:22 UTC+3 MOSCOW
A Russian expert believes nuclear-free Korean peninsula possible after the world offers acceptable security guarantees to North Korea
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© AP Photo/Wong Maye-E

MOSCOW, June 8 /TASS/. The nuclear problem of the Korean peninsula should be resolved by means of negotiations or there will be no deterring factors, Alexander Vorontsov, the head of the Korea and Mongolia department of the Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of Oriental Studies, told TASS on Wednesday.

"This theme is not new," he said commenting on resumption of plutonium fuel production in Yongbyon in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

"Everybody stands for making the Korean peninsula nuclear-free but they are in no rush to offer acceptable security guarantees to the DPRK and are refusing to conduct meaningful talks with it," Vorontsov said.

"The stake is put on sanctions and isolation with an aim to change the regime. North Korea has recently offered South Korea to hold high-level military talks but all the initiatives have been turned down," Vorontsov said. Besides, Pyongyang could have suspended its nuclear tests if the United States had agreed to refrain from the military exercise in South Korea.

"But all [North Korean] proposals were turned down immediately without consideration," the Russian expert said.

Vorontsov believes that North Korea used new technologies for conducting a thermonuclear (according to the North Koreans) explosion in January 2016. "It is progress and a step forward to creating a thermonuclear and more compact explosive device, which can be mounted on a missile," Vorontsov said adding that negotiations were necessary.

"If there are no talks, there can be no deterring commitments. Calls and threats are not enough to resolve this problem," the expert explained.

He remembered the six-way talks on Iran, which had crowned with success due to concessions made by the parties. "There are no such approaches to the DPRK so far," Vorontsov concluded.

North Korea resumes nuclear activities

Yukia Amano, the International Atomic Energy Agency director-general, said that the agency’s satellite data showed that North Korea had re-launched its 5MW reactor in Yongbyon; expanded the enrichment enterprise and a plant for processing nuclear fuel.

He added that the IAEA could not draw any final conclusion because its inspectors had been unable to gain access to the facility since April 2009. At the same time, Amano said that the satellite images showed trucks loaded with materials and vapor rising from hot water reservoirs.

The situation in the Korean peninsula aggravated after the DPRK had conducted a nuclear test on January 6 this year and had fired a carrier rocket with an artificial Earth satellite on February 7 in violation of the UN Security Council resolutions. The UN Security Council, in turn, unanimously passed a resolution on tougher sanctions against the DPRK.

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