Russian FM against bilateral problems at six-nation talks on North Korea

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North Korea's bilateral problems with the United States and Japan should be kept off the agenda of the six-nation talks on the Korean peninsula's nuclear problem, Russia's foreign minister said Friday.
DUBAI, July 28 (RIA Novosti) - North Korea's bilateral problems with the United States and Japan should be kept off the agenda of the six-nation talks on the Korean peninsula's nuclear problem, Russia's foreign minister said Friday.

"We believe such problems as blocking North Korean accounts in the Macao bank and the kidnapping of Japanese nationals should be resolved in direct bilateral talks between North Korea and the relevant states. I don't believe these things should be foisted on the package of six-nation talks," Sergei Lavrov said on his way back from Kuala Lumpur hosting the Asean Regional Forum.

Six-nation talks involving North and South Korea, Russia, China, Japan and the United States on resolving the problems around North Korea's controversial nuclear programs opened in 2003 but a round has not been held for over six months.

Iran and its nuclear impasse was also on the agenda of the security forum and Lavrov said the Islamic Republic was expected to study proposals put forward by the five permanent UN Security Council members and Germany and give a positive answer as soon as possible.

The six countries have drafted a package of incentives to persuade Iran to halt work on enriching uranium, which could be used in both electricity generation and weapons production. EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana presented the offer to Tehran during a visit to Iran June 6.

Iran has said it will reply on August 22.

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