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Russia: Patience needed on North Korea talks

Russia: Patience needed on North Korea talks

The five nations negotiating to eliminate North Korea's nuclear program are prepared to "very patiently and consistently" pursue the resumption of talks with the reclusive communist nation, Russia's U.N. envoy said Monday.
North Korea announced it was quitting the disarmament talks and restarting its atomic facilities after the U.N. Security Council imposed sanctions on three major North Korean companies in response to Pyongyang's April 5 rocket launch. The six-party talks, which began in 2003, involve North Korea, South Korea, Russia, China, Japan, and the United States.
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was the first high-level foreign official to visit North Korea after Pyongyang expelled all international monitors from its nuclear facilities following the launch _ and Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said Lavrov "was certainly bringing a message there in favor of resumption of six-party talks."
"I can say that it is the position of at least five of the six participants in the six-party talks that it's crucially important to return to the six-party talks...," Churkin told a news conference.
"We unfortunately don't envisage that to happen in a short period of time," he said.
But Churkin said it's "very important that five out of six believe that this is something which must be pursued very patiently and consistently."
The North has called the Security Council's rebuke unfair insisting the rocket was carrying a satellite. But the U.S., Japan and other nations believe the launch was a cover to test technology for long-range military missiles that could eventually carry nuclear warheads.
Churkin called the council's response "proportionate to the challenge."
The Security Council imposed sanctions on North Korea after it carried out a nuclear test in 2006 _ including a ban on missile tests. The reclusive north Asian nation is thought to have enough weaponized plutonium to make more than half a dozen atomic bombs.
Under a 2007 six-nation deal, North Korea agreed to disable its main nuclear complex in Yongbyon north of Pyongyang in return for 1 million tons of fuel oil and other concessions. In June 2008, North Korea blew up the cooling tower there in a dramatic show of its commitment to denuclearization.
But disabling its nuclear program came to a halt a month later as Pyongyang wrangled with Washington over how to verify its past atomic activities. The latest round of talks _ in December 2008 _ failed to push the process forward.


Updated : 2021-06-19 07:16 GMT+08:00