Russian FM: DPRK ready to resume six-party talks without preconditions

World Today

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is ready to resume six-party talks on the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula without preconditions, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday.

“We have received assurances … that Pyongyang is ready to resume six-party talks without preconditions, based on the joint statement that the participants in the six-party format of the negotiations adopted in September 2005,” Lavrov told reporters after talks with Choe Ryong Hae in Moscow, special envoy of the DPRK’s top leader Kim Jong Un.

He said Choe, who arrived in Moscow on Monday for an eight-day visit, had handed Russian President Vladimir Putin a message from Kim that “confirmed the readiness to develop our bilateral ties and cooperate in resolving the problems which persist on the Korean Peninsula.”

Noting that Russia-DPRK trade and economic relations “are reaching a whole new level,” Lavrov said the two countries will further interact in the future.

“As for the schedule of contacts, we have confirmed our readiness to carry out contacts at all levels, including the summit level, within the timeframe agreed for both sides,” he said.

Lavrov also stressed that recent media reports over the DPRK’s nuclear reactor activity in the Yongbyon nuclear complex should be verified.

“Such claims should be backed by facts, not by media allegations,” he said, adding that the working group on the peninsula’s security issues should resume its activity so that all concerns could be professionally discussed.

Choe’s visit followed a series of high-ranking visits by DPRK officials this year. Vice Marshal Hyon Yong Chol, minister of the People’s Armed Forces, met Putin in Moscow on Nov. 8 and conveyed Kim’s greetings. DPRK Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong visited Russia on Sept. 30.

Choe will also visit Russia’s Far East cities of Khabarovsk and Vladivostok on his way back home.

Choe met with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin on Tuesday. The Kremlin said in a statement that Choe delivered a letter from Kim in the meeting held behind closed doors.

Article by Xinhua News Agency.