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MOSCOW, August 14 (Itar-Tass) - The state of affairs concerning the Korean Peninsula will be discussed here on Wednesday by Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Igor Morgulov and Cho Tae-yong, leader of the delegation of the Republic of Korea (ROK) at the Six-Party Talks, who arrived in Moscow for working consultations.
A Russian Foreign Ministry official said the the central subject of discussion at the meeting would be matters aimed at normalising the situation on the Korean Peninsula "with an emphasis on a politico-diplomatic settlement of the nuclear issue and the search for ways to unblock the six-party talks".
The situation in the region was also discussed during the visit of Kim Kye-gwan, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to Moscow in July. Special attention at the time was also devoted to efforts to settle the nuclear problem. The Russian side, in particular, emphasized the need for "joint efforts in the interests of easing tension, and creating conditions for a resumption of the six-party talks at an earliest date on the principles agreed upon in the Joint Statement dated September 19, 2005".
The six-party talks with the participation of the two Koreas, China, Russia, the United States, and Japan have not been held since the end of 2008 owing to contradictions between the DPRK and the US. Specific ways for dismantling Pyongyang's nuclear facilities were agreed upon at the talks earlier and practical steps were even taken in this respect. However, later on, Pyongyang announced their complete termination. Since then, the DPRK has held a series of nuclear tests and carried out several launchings of ballistic missiles. The UN Security Council reacted to than by applying economic sanctions against the DPRK.
Moscow, for its part, repeatedly stressed the need to create conditions as soon as possible for a resumption of the six-party negotiating process and stated readiness jointly with partners to work with a view to achieving peace and stability on the Peninsula.
According to Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich, the Russian side proceeds from the assumption that "the sooner such talks resume, the greater are chances to achieve stability and lower the level of tension on the Korean Peninsula". "This will be the goal of all our further steps and the steps of our partners for the six-party talks," the diplomat emphasized.