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Resumption of six-party talks on North Korea possible — Lavrov

October 01, 2014, 13:51 UTC+3
The talks on the North Korean nuclear program between Russia, the United States, China, North Korea, South Korea and Japan were suspended in 2009 at the initiative of Pyongyang
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North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong (L) and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (R)

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong (L) and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (R)

© EPA/MAXIM SHIPENKOV

MOSCOW, October 1. /TASS/. Resumption of six-party talks on the North Korean nuclear program is possible, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

The talks between Russia, the United States, China, North Korea, South Korea and Japan were suspended in 2009 at the initiative of Pyongyang. North Korea later repeatedly said it was ready to resume the negotiations, but the United States, Japan and South Korea stressed that they see no grounds to restart the dialogue.

Lavrov said that “the consent of all the participants is needed” to resume the six-party talks. “The negotiations have confirmed that the resumption of the six-party talks is possible, but this will require some time,” the Russian foreign minister said.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told his North Korean counterpart Ri Su Yong on Wednesday that the positions of the two countries do not fully coincide.

“We discussed the nuclear issue that has not been resolved and is negatively affecting bilateral relations and regional stability,” Lavrov said after talks with the North Korean foreign minister in Moscow.

“Our positions yet do not coincide in all things. But there is an understanding that all the parties should refrain from sharp steps and not step up confrontation in the region,” he said, adding that Russia calls for fully complying with the UN Security Council resolutions.

“We stand for strict compliance with and full implementation of corresponding UN Security Council resolutions,” he said.

“Consent of all participants in the process is indispensable to resume the six-party talks on the Korean nuclear problem. Today we’ve held bilateral talks.” “They confirmed the resumption of the six-party talks, but not immediately,” Lavrov said.

“This will require some time because too many confrontational elements have been brought to the situation.” “The major task is to seek for all parties to take a calm weighty approach and to prevent strong steps, which will only polarise the positions,” he said.

“It is necessary to continue the contacts. One cannot lose heart. The situation is complicated, but we will do all the best to create necessary conditions for resuming the six-sided talks on the basis of the positions reflected in the joint statement adopted in September 2005,” Lavrov said.

Talks on North Korea's nuclear program

The six-party talks aimed at settling North Korea’s nuclear problem have been stalled since 2008. North Korea terminated its participation in them after the UN Security Council imposed sanctions following missile and nuclear tests.

Pyongyang is reluctant to return to the negotiating table, because, it argues, some preconditions are put forward for their resumption - a reference to the UN Security Council’s demand the North Korean missile and nuclear programs should be curtailed.

Russia, the United States, China, South Korea and Japan are pushing ahead with efforts to resume the process of settling the situation in the Korean Peninsula, which cannot be normalised until Pyongyang has renounced the development of nuclear weapons. Many US experts believe that an agreement with North Korea might be drafted by analogy with the agreement on the Iranian nuclear program that was concluded in Geneva on November 24.

Agreement on Iranian nuclear program

The document, agreed at negotiations among the five permanent UN Security Council member-states, Germany and Iran, envisages suspension of a number of key elements of the Iranian nuclear program in exchange for the easing of economic sanctions. This arrangement will stay effective for six months and may be prolonged for another six months by mutual consent. Over that period the parties concerned hope to draft a final comprehensive agreement that would guarantee the exclusively peaceful nature of Teheran’s nuclear program and lift the international community’s concerns on that score.

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