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MOSCOW, June 23. /TASS/. Speaker of the State Duma (the lower house of Russia’s parliament) Sergey Naryshkin and Chairman of North Korea’s Supreme People’s Assembly Choe Thae-bok discussed nuclear security issues in broad outline, Duma First Vice-Speaker Ivan Melnikov said on Tuesday.
The Duma first vice-speaker who was present at the talks said Naryshkin and his North Korean counterpart did not discuss the issue of restarting the six-party talks on North Korea’s nuclear problem.
"This issue was not discussed in detail. Of course, the sides touched upon the nuclear security problem but without details or the mechanism of resolving this issue. There was no talk about the mechanisms: negotiations are the mechanism," Melnikov said in response to a journalists’ question about whether the sides had discussed the issue of six-party talks on the North Korea nuclear problem.
The Duma first vice-speaker also said the sides had not discussed the details of a possible deal between Russia and North Korean on preventing dangerous military activity.
"But the point is that initiatives were put forward by North Korea that it is ready to suspend its nuclear program, if the United States stops holding provocative military maneuvers near the North Korean border (I’m using North Korea’s terminology). Unfortunately, the US has ignored this: US troops are holding maneuvers with South Korea," Melnikov said.
The six-party talks with the participation of South Korea, the United States, China, Russia and Japan aimed at persuading North Korea to give up its nuclear program yielded no results in late 2008.
After that, North Korea successfully carried out its second and third underground nuclear tests in 2009 and 2013.
Experts say North Korea may provide its "nuclear deterrence forces" with about a hundred of nuclear bombs already by 2020.
Formally, the six-party talks on the North Korea nuclear problem are not considered as cancelled.