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North Korea prepared to resume talks with US and South Korea

July 29, 2013, 11:47 UTC+3

RAS member Mikhail Titarenko commented on a conference discussing inter-Korean relations

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PYONGYANG, July 29 (Itar-Tass) - North Korea is prepared to resume talks with the United States and South Korea, Head of Institute of the Far East of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Academician Mikhail Titarenko told Itar-Tass on Monday. He was participating in a conference organized in Pyongyang by the Institute of International Relations and the Institute of Peace and Disarmament under North Korean Foreign Ministry.

“Participants of the conference noted that if the United States stops its hostile policy towards North Korea, Pyongyang will agree to discuss the creation of a nuclear-free zone on the Korean Peninsula,” the Russian academician said. In his words, North Korea has put forth several important initiatives, including meetings at high level, but the U.S. and South Korea “left these initiatives unanswered.” North Korean security experts believe that the U.S. “is fanning up tensions deliberately on the peninsula to keep its military presence in Japan and South Korea,” Mikhail Titarenko said. “North Korea finds the nuclear weapons as a force of deterrence and a guarantee of independent development under the conditions when the U.S. does not want to recognize that country,” he said.

As for South Korea, North Korean security experts say that inter-Korean relations “dropped to their lowest level” during Lee Myung-bak’s presidency. Incumbent South Korean President Park Geun-hye, according to the experts, “calls just in words for the normalization of the relations between South Korea and North Korea, but in fact she continues Lee Myun-bak’s political course,” Titarenko noted. However, he noted that North Korea, judging by the debates, also intends to take steps for the invigoration of the situation on the Korean Peninsula in the future.

The conference also discussed the problems of East Asia, including “the measures to improve the situation on the Korean Peninsula.” North Korean representatives said the country is interested in the creation of a nuclear-free zone on the peninsula. North Korean Eternal President Kim Il Sung has voiced this idea for the first time, Titarenko recalled.

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