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MOSCOW, August 14 (Itar-Tass) - Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov and Seoul’s chief negotiator to the six-party talks, Cho Tae-young, stated the need to continue efforts to resume six-party talks on the Korean Peninsula.
At their meeting on Wednesday, August 14, the diplomats noted shared understanding of further work to find political and diplomatic solutions on the basis of the Joint Statement of China, DPRK, Russia, the Republic of Korea, the United States, and Japan of September 19, 2005, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
“The sides agreed to continue cooperation and coordination at both the bilateral level and with other partners in the six-party process in order to create conditions for resuming the talks on the nuclear problem of the Korean Peninsula and improve the situation Northeast Asia in general,” the ministry said.
DPRK First Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Kim Gye-gwan visited Moscow in early July to discuss the situation on the Korean Peninsula with a focus on the nuclear settlement.
Kim met with First Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov and Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov on July 4.
“The talks were quite important. Their main result is that the North Koreans reiterated their commitment to a peaceful diplomatic solution of the Korean issue and showed keen interest in the resumption of six-party talks without preconditions. And Russia supports them on that,” Georgy Toloraya, Director of Korean Programmes of the Institute of Economy of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told ITAR-TASS.
“Russia was the second, after China, country where a representative of the North Korean leadership was sent to convey this thought to the international community. This was done with the obvious hope that we would facilitate a resumption of the diplomatic process using our contacts with the Americans and South Koreans,” the expert said.
“We can say that the businesslike and interested discussion in Moscow showed that the North Koreans do not consider Moscow a foe and are ready to cooperate and coordinate their efforts with us,” he added.
“Also discussed during the talks were other issues of bilateral cooperation, which goes quite actively and well. It’s good that the talks took place. North Korea is ready to make compromises and look for solutions, and it hopes for certain assistance from Russia,” Toloraya said.
“Russia, in turn, is ready to look for these solutions and bridge the gap in the positions of irreconcilable opponents - the United States and DPRK - and also South Korea, although the latter is slowly resuming dialogue [with the DPRK],” he said.
During the talks in Moscow, the diplomats exchanged views on the current state of and prospects for bilateral relations and discussed the situation on the Korean Peninsula, paying special attention to the issue of nuclear settlement, the ministry said.
The Russian diplomats stressed the need for joint efforts to ease tensions and create conditions for the speediest resumption of six-party talks on the principles set out in the joint statement of September 19, 2005.
“It was noted that normalisation of the situation on the peninsula would help intensify cooperation between Russia and DPRK in practical areas and start implementing major multilateral economic projects,” the ministry said.
During his recent visit, Kim reiterated Pyongyang’s commitment to settling the nuclear issue through dialogue.
“Denucliarisation of the Korean Peninsula was the last wish of the founder of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Kim Il-sung, and his follower Kim Jong-il. The DPRK aspires to conduct the dialogue and meet with representatives of all sides concerned, including a six-party dialogue with them, in hope to settle the nuclear issue peacefully,” the diplomat said.