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Russia cannot fall out of Korean settlement process - Russian senior diplomat

According to Igor Morgulov, such concerns are groundless

MOSCOW, April 28. /TASS/. No mention of Russia in the Panmunjom declaration in now way means that Moscow may fall out of the process of Korean settlement, a senior Russian diplomat told TASS on Saturday.

"I am convinced that such concerns are groundless," he said. "Russia cannot fall out of the process, on the contrary, it is set, actively and initiatively, to continue participation in the search for solution to all problems of the Korean Peninsula," Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov stressed.

According to the Russian senior diplomat, looking through the Panmunjom declaration that in the context of the Korean settlement mentions a possibility of trilateral (both Koreas and the United States) or four-lateral (plus China) talks "an unsophisticated reader may really lack understanding of the essence of the matter."

"The matter is that the declaration mentions possible dialogue formats stemming from the results of the Korean War of 1950-1953, i.e. substitution of the Armistice Agreement by a peace treaty," he explained. "Bearing this in mind, I would like to recall that the former Soviet Union participated neither in the Korean War that resulted in the signing of the abovementioned agreement nor in talks on it."

"By the way, our position on that matter is clearly stated in the Russian-Chinese roadmap for the Korean settlement that was initiated last year," Morgulov said. "Our position is that the issue of signing a peace treaty to replace the Armistice Agreement is a matter of intra-Korean bilateral relations and it to be tackled by Pyongyang and Seoul. This approach was actually reflected in the Panmunjom declaration.".

Russia is not seeking to be a party to a peace treaty between Pyongyang and Seoul as the former Soviet Union took part neither on the Korean War nor in the armistice talks, a senior Russian diplomat also said. 

"Russia has neither grounds not motives to seek to be a party to such treaty," Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov said. "It is a matter of those who were actually involved in the Korean War. We see our role not in plunging into the conflicts of the past but in active and scrupulous work for the future, in joint efforts geared to create a sustainable mechanism of peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and Northeastern Asia in general that would reckon with the interests of all parties concerned."

"We believe that an instrument of reaching this goal, as we have repeatedly said, is all-round discussion of the sub-region’s problems in the six-lateral negotiating format with Russia’s participation. There is no alternative to such format," he stressed.