South Korean FM to visit Russia for talks on North’s nuclear program

South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-Hwan will pay a three-day official visit to Moscow on August 7-9 to discuss North Korea’s nuclear program among other issues with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.

“We believe that the soonest resumption of six-party talks… corresponds to our common interests,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on the eve of the visit.

“All parties should show maximum responsibility and foresight, refrain from any actions that could provoke new confrontation, and continue efforts aimed at transferring the situation to the constructive course,” he said.

It is important not just to resume the six-party talks on the North Korean nuclear issue, but to work towards their main goal – the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, the spokesman added.

The visit will become Kim’s first trip to Russia as the foreign minister of South Korea.

Seoul and Pyongyang agreed on July 22 to revive the stalled six-party talks on the North’s controversial nuclear program without preconditions.

Last Monday, North Korea said it was ready to resume the talks “at an early date.”

In late July, North Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan discussed the issue with U.S. special representative for North Korea Stephen Bosworth in New York. Both sides described the talks as “positive.”

The six-party talks on Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions, comprising the two Koreas, the United States, Russia, China and Japan, came to a halt in April 2009 when North Korea walked out of negotiations to protest the United Nations’ condemnation of its missile tests.

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