8 Apr 2018 20:07

Russia supports North Korea's efforts to seek rapprochement with South, launch direct dialogue with U.S. - Russian Foreign Ministry

MOSCOW. April 8 (Interfax) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is due to meet his North Korean counterpart Ri Yong Ho in Moscow to discuss the situation on the Korean peninsula and possible solutions.

"An important place on the agenda of the upcoming talks will be given to exchanging views on the situation on Korean peninsula and searching for ways to settle it, not least in the context of the early signs of positive developments in this sub-region," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a commentary on Sunday.

The unsolved nuclear and other problems of the peninsula are still a serious factor hampering Russian-North Korean cooperation, the ministry said.

"The Russian side is committed to strict adherence to the requirements of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, both with regard to the restrictions they impose and to assisting with the politico-diplomatic settlement of the nuclear and other problems of the Korean peninsula. In this context, we support the North Korean leadership's steps aimed at inter-Korean rapprochement and normalizing the relations between the two Korean states, launching direct dialogue with the United States, which is in line with the roadmap proposed by Russia and supported by China," the ministry said.

"A final outcome of the collective effort on this trek should be a comprehensive resolution of the situation in the sub-region and the creation of a strong mechanism of peace and security in Northeast Asia," the ministry said.

Ri will be in Russia on an official visit on April 9-11, his talks with Lavrov are due on April 10.

The two ministers will discuss bilateral cooperation, including political dialogue development, trade and economic cooperation, joint coordination of each other's foreign policies, as well as international problems, including the situation in the Middle East, progress in the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran's nuclear program, and the prospects of forming a new architecture of security in the Asia Pacific Region.

Also on the agenda is a discussion of further trade and economic cooperation in light of outcomes of the eighth meeting of the relevant intergovernmental commission held in Pyongyang on March 21-22.

"[The two foreign ministers] are planning to discuss measures to make cooperation in practical areas more efficient, and the possibility of implementing joint projects, including in the trilateral format, i.e. with South Korean partners. Among topics at the upcoming talks will be preparations for the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the bilateral diplomatic relations. [The two ministers] are planning to discuss the schedule of joint events, reciprocal visits and exchanges timed to coincide with this anniversary," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in the commentary.