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    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un guides the combat drill of the service personnel of the special operation battalion of KPA Unit 525 in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang on December 11, 2016

    Russia the Mediator: Can Moscow Help Organize Talks for US, N Korea Leaders?

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    North Korea could ask Russia to help organize a one-on-one meeting between its leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump, Washington-based Radio Free Asia reported, citing US experts.

    The report was later confirmed by other media outlets.

    Donald Trump earlier said he would like to sit down with Kim over a hamburger and decide the future of North Korea’s nuclear program.

    The Trump Administration has since toughened its stance on Pyongyang though, and now talks about the possibility of preventive nuclear trikes on North Korea and the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons in South Korea and Japan.

    It is apparently with this change of tack by Washington in mind that Kim Jong-un is now looking for ways to mend fences with the United States, RFA said.

    Sputnik asked several leading Russian political analysts to comment on the RFA’s report.

    “I think that any information coming from this source (RFA) needs to be double-checked until it has been confirmed by at least another source, Konstantin Asmolov, an expert with the Center of Korean Studies in Moscow, told Sputnik.

    His opinion was echoed by the executive director of the National Committee on BRICS Studies, Georgy Toloraya. He added, however, that the RFA report reflected Russia’s growing clout in the world.

    “What exactly is going to happen we don’t know because things like this are usually done behind closed doors,” Toloraya said.

    Meanwhile, media reports said on Monday that Pyongyang deems it necessary to close South Korea’s Ministry of Unification, which is responsible for working towards the reunification of the two Korean states.

    In a statement issued on Monday, a representative of the North Korean Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea called the South Korean on Ministry of Unification a “bunch of loafers” engaged in stoking up inter-Korean tensions who deserve to be laid off.

    Georgy Toloraya said that even though Pyongyang has no right to meddle in the administrative affairs of its southern neighbor, the reasons for its concern are too obvious to be ignored.

    “North Korea believes that [South Korean President] Park Geun-hye and her Ministry of Unification have focused more on spying and the ultimate annexation of the North, rather than improving bilateral relations.”

    “I still see this statement as an element of psychological war, and a sign of Pyongyang’s displeasure about Seoul’s policy and also a message to the South Korean government that will come to power after the May elections to show a more constructive approach to its northern neighbor,” Georgy Toloraya continued.

    With the situation on the divided Korean peninsula remaining tense, Russia is calling on Pyongyang and Seoul to show restraint and think of negative consequences of a further escalation of tensions between them.

    Relations between the two counties hit a new low following a ballistic missile test launch by North Korea on March 6 and the start of large-scale South Korean-US joint military exercises.

    Moscow is urging North and South Korea to step up efforts to solve the situation on the peninsula by political and diplomatic means.

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    Tags:
    top-level talks, Russian mediation, media reports, National Committee on BRICS Studies, Moscow Center of Korean Studies, Ministry of Unification, Konstantin Asmolov, Georgy Toloraya, Donald Trump, Kim Jong-un, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK)
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