2 Jan 2018 16:32

High-level meeting between Seoul, Pyongyang could serve as foundation for settling Korea issue - Duma's Slutsky

MOSCOW. Jan 2 (Interfax) - While it is hard to forecast the likelihood of a high-level meeting between Seoul and Pyongyang, if such a meeting does take place, it would significantly promote a diplomatic settlement of the situation on the Korean Peninsula, Russian State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee head Leonid Slutsky said.

"Taking into consideration the DPRK leadership's unpredictability, we surely find it hard to assess likelihood of such a meeting. But if it does take place, it might lay a good foundation for a diplomatic settlement on the Korean Peninsula in the future," Slutsky told Interfax on Tuesday.

High-level inter-Korean negotiations would be especially efficient if progress could be made in implementing the so-called 'double freezing' road map proposed by Russia and China, he said.

It had been reported earlier that Seoul proposed to Pyongyang on Tuesday that high-ranking South Korean and North Korean representatives meet on January 9 to discuss ways to improve relations.

"We hope that the South and the North could sit face to face and discuss North Korea's participation in the [Olympic Winter] Games in PyeongChang as well as other issues of mutual interest to improve inter-Korean relations," Cho said.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said in a New Year greeting message to the nation that Pyongyang completed the building of its nuclear forces. At the same time, Kim said North Korea could dispatch a delegation of its athletes to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games to take place in South Korea's PyeongChang on February 9-25.