10:33 GMT24 June 2021
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    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called on Thursday during his visit to Pyongyang for phased lifting of sanctions on North Korea after talks with his North Korean counterpart Ri Yong-ho.

    Russian Foreign Minister also said that North Korea would not give up nuclear weapons until sanctions lifted. He noted, that Russia calls for concrete agreements on North Korea that are in everyone's interest.

    "As for sanctions, it is absolutely obvious that, as we start discussions on how to resolve the nuclear problem on the Korean peninsula, it is understood that the solution cannot be comprehensive without the lifting of sanctions," Lavrov said.

    "This cannot be achieved at one go. There can be no immediate denuclearization, this should be done step by step and all sides should go halfway during every single phase of this process," Lavrov noted.

    Lavrov also said that the Russian government did not believe it had a say in North Korea’s talks with the United States.

    "I don’t think we should explore North Korea’s talking points that it plans to bring to the negotiations with the US. Expert consultations are under way in preparation for the talks, and we don’t feel like we are in a position to interfere with this process," he said.

    "But as soon as their agreements are offered to the international community for scrutiny, the UN Security Council might need to support certain initiatives, and we will be ready to back concrete agreements that are in the interest of all parties involved, including that of North Korea," he added.

    "We welcome the contacts that have been intensively forming in the past months between North Korea and South Korea, between the North and the United States," Lavrov said.

    "We urge all parties involved to remember about their responsibility for this very fragile process to avoid its breakdown," he warned.

    "Our common understanding with North Korea is that everyone should tread carefully when it comes to the fledgling contacts and revival of ties between the two Koreas, and between North Korea and the United States," Lavrov added.

    "One should not be tempted to demand that everything happens at once because we see how complex this problem is," he stressed.

    The United Nations and several individual states led by the United States imposed several rounds of sanctions on North Korea, following Pyongyang's declaring itself a nuclear power in 2005, withdrawing from the six-party talks on denuclearization four years later and conducting nuclear tests in violation of the UN regulations. However, recently, DPRK has dismantled three test mines at the Punggye-Ri nuclear site.


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    sanctions, Ri Yong-Ho, Sergei Lavrov, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), US, Russia
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