N. Korean envoy seeks Russian backing for talks

Featured Korea - July 4th, 2013
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North Korea’s top nuclear negotiator has met with Russian officials in Moscow in an apparent move aimed at countering international pressure amid a nuclear standoff.

Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan left Tuesday for the Russian capital, where he is set to meet his counterpart, Igor Morgulov, Wall Street Journal reports.

Kim, who had recently returned from Beijing, where he secured China’s backing on the resumption of six-party talks, is expected to persuade Moscow into making a similar move.

“We will discuss the prospects of launching a new six-party negotiating process,” Morgulov told reporters.

In April, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Moscow’s stance on North Korea’s nuclear programs were aligned with Washington.

North Korea offered talks with the US and South Korea to restart long-stalled six-party dialogue in a turnabout after weeks of warlike rhetoric that has ratcheted up tensions on the Korean peninsula.

The North’s Foreign Minister Pak Ui Chun insisted the US must accept its offer of dialogue without preconditions.

The US said North Korea must first take concrete actions towards dismantling its nuclear weapons.