MOSCOW, February 8. /TASS/. The resumption of the six-party negotiations on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is unlikely at the moment, but it is possible in the future, Russian Ambassador to North Korea Alexander Matsegora told the Rossiya 24 TV channel on Thursday.
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"The probability at the moment is perhaps not very high. We believe that the six-party format will be relevant without fail. However, it will be relevant at the next stages. The task now is to seek to reduce tensions in relations between Pyongyang and Seoul and try to reduce tensions between North Korea and the United States," he said, adding that "the issue at hand at the moment is work in a bilateral format."
Matsegora added that the North Korean authorities are inclined to discuss the issue of missiles and nuclear weapons "only with the Americans."
The six-party talks on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula that involved North Korea, South Korea, Japan, China, Russia and the United States were suspended in 2008 at Pyongyang’s initiative. After the situation on the peninsula deteriorated, some countries, including Russia and South Korea, spoke out in favor of resuming dialogue in that format. To revive it, Moscow and Beijing put forward a ‘dual freeze’ initiative in July 2017 concerning North Korea’s nuclear and missile program and the joint military exercises conducted by the United States and South Korea.
The beginning of this year saw some signs of a thaw in relations between Pyongyang and Seoul. Following several rounds of negotiations, agreements were reached on sending a delegation of North Korean officials and performers to the PyeongChang Olympics. Later on, Pyongyang and Seoul obtained approval from the International Olympic Committee on the participation of North Korean athletes in the Games.