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Moscow hopes for further talks on denuclearization of North Korean Peninsula

September 02, 2013, 18:34 UTC+3
Signs point that South and North Korea are looking for ways to resume contacts, Russia's Foreign Minister says
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MOSCOW, September 2 (Itar-Tass) - Moscow hopes for the resumption of talks on denuclearization of the North Korean Peninsula now that the situation in the region has somewhat stabilized, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

“We were worried by the rhetoric we heard only recently and by the threats to never return to the six-party talks and to use nuclear weapons. The situation has slightly calmed down now and this gives us hope for the resumption of the political process,” Lavrov said at a traditional meeting with students and faculty members of the MGMIMO University of International Relations on Monday, September 2.

He noted that “there are reasons for very cautious optimism” and recalled Seoul’s and Pyongyang’s readiness to continue meetings between families divided by the Korean War of 1950-1953 and to resume operation of the Kaesong Industrial Park, commonly known as the Kaesong Industrial Complex.

“There are also other indications that sides are seeking to resume contacts rather than run away from each other and push their already extreme positions further. We are convinced that this situation not only attaches special significance to the six-party talks and efforts to resume them but places a special emphasis on the part of the agreements reached at the six-party talks, which calls for creating a system of peace and security in Northeast Asia,” Lavrov said.

He recalled that a special working group had been created, with Russia acting as its coordinator. “We will try to use our status to invigorate the negotiation process … thus helping resume the six-party talks,” the minister said.

Among positive factors he mentioned the fact that despite its threats to withdraw from the process, the North Korean leadership has reaffirmed its readiness to implement the document that was adopted at the six-party talks in September 2005. The document proposes a stage-by-stage approach, which should eventually lead to the resolution of the nuclear problem on the Korean Peninsula.

Lavrov previously said that Moscow rejected Pyongyang’s attempts to declare itself a military nuclear power unilaterally. 

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