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Lavrov: Russia Supports Resumptions of Talks on N Korea's Nuclear Program

© Sputnik / Evgeni Biyatov / Go to the photo bankRussian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov - Sputnik International
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated that Moscow supports confidence building initiatives in Northeast Asia to form conditions for the resumption of six-party talks on North Korea’s nuclear program.

MOSCOW, November 20 (Sputnik) — Moscow supports confidence building initiatives in Northeast Asia to create conditions for the resumption of six-party talks on Pyongyang's nuclear program, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday.

"An important factor in our joint efforts is strengthening confidence in Northeast Asia and the maintenance of peace and security on the Korean peninsula, and the creation of conditions for the resumption of six-party talks," Lavrov stated in Moscow during his meeting with Choe Ryong-hae, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's special envoy.

According to Lavrov, North Korea is a longtime friend and close neighbor of Russia. Moscow and Pyongyang have a number of joint large-scale plans for the development of cooperation in trade, economic and investment spheres.

"We are convinced that cooperation in practical areas will bring real benefits to our countries, [we] will promote mutually beneficial agreements," the Russian foreign minister said.

The six-party talks, comprising North and South Korea, Russia, the United States, China and Japan, first began in August 2003, after North Korea withdrew from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). In 2005, the country declared itself a nuclear power and conducted a series of underground nuclear weapon tests in 2006, 2009 and 2013.

Pyongyang's nuclear program has triggered mass protests from the international community, including demands for the nation to return to talks on the reduction of its nuclear activities, from which Pyongyang withdrew in 2009.

Lavrov: North Korea Says Ready to Resume Six-Party Nuclear Talks Without Preconditions

Moscow has received assurances from North Korea that it was ready to resume six-party nuclear talks without any preconditions, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday.

“We got assurances from North Korea’s high representative that Pyongyang is ready to resume six-party talks without preconditions on the basis of the joint statement made by participants of the six-party talks in September 2005,” the minister said after talks with North Korean special envoy Choe Ryong Hae.

Earlier the same day, Lavrov said Moscow supports confidence building initiatives in Northeast Asia to create conditions for the resumption of the talks on Pyongyang’s nuclear program.

The six-party talks, comprising North and South Korea, Russia, the United States, China and Japan, first began in August 2003, after North Korea withdrew from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). In 2005, the country declared itself a nuclear power and conducted a series of underground nuclear weapon tests in 2006, 2009 and 2013.

Pyongyang’s nuclear program has triggered mass protests from the international community, including demands for the nation to return to talks on the reduction of its nuclear activities, from which Pyongyang withdrew in 2009.

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