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Russia ready to foster dialogue with North Korea — diplomat

Moscow and Washington continue contacts on the Korean Peninsula, a Russian diplomat said

MOSCOW, December 13. /TASS/. Moscow will develop political dialogue with Pyongyang, including between the Defense Ministries, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told reporters on Wednesday.

"North Korea is our neighbor. We need to develop relations with that country, and political dialogue is very important," the diplomat said. "We use any opportunities for direct communication, and we will continue using them in the future, including through the Defense Ministry."

Earlier reports said that the Russian Defense Ministry’s delegation had arrived in Pyongyang. It is led by Deputy Head of the Russian National Defense Management Center Viktor Kalganov.

Moscow and Washington continue contacts on the Korean Peninsula crisis at different levels, he said. 

"The contacts with the Americans are underway, we do not miss any chance to discuss the Korean issue," the diplomat said.

The Korean Peninsula crisis was one of the central issues at last week’s talks between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Vienna, he said.

The situation on the Korean Peninsula remains tense as Pyongyang continues to develop its nuclear and missile programs, while Seoul and Washington hold joint military drills. On November 29, North Korea conducted a missile launch, the first since September 15. North Korea’s Central News Agency (KCNA) said that the Hwasong-15 missile had covered a distance of 950 kilometers during its 53-minute flight, reaching an altitude of 4,475 kilometers. According to experts, this new missile may cover the distance of up to 13,000 km, and almost the entire US territory may be within its range.