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Russia positions itself as mediator on North Korean nuclear crisis

Russia steps up as go-between on North Korea
Moscow sees rogue state as key to mending fences with Washington, Nikkei Asian Review, 17 Oct 17 

TOMOYO OGAWA, Nikkei staff writer MOSCOW — Russia has been setting up a number of high-profile meetings with North Korean officials, positioning itself as an intermediary for negotiations with the isolated state in a bid to improve Moscow’s strained relations with the U.S.

Valentina Matviyenko, the speaker of Russia’s upper house, met separately with North and South Korean representatives on Monday on the sidelines of an international meeting in St. Petersburg. Matviyenko had called for a direct dialogue between the two Koreas, but Pyongyang rejected the idea in protest of joint U.S.-South Korean military drills.

The vice chair of North Korea’s Supreme People’s Assembly is believed to have given Matviyenko a statement from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, while arguing that nuclear weapons were the only way for the country to defend itself. Matviyenko’s meeting with the North Korean official lasted about an hour and a half, compared with just 30 minutes or so with the South Korean envoy.

The Russian speaker later called for the resumption of six-party talks on the North Korean issue, and stressed that she will continue making every effort to foster dialogue.

Russia is also hosting an international conference on nuclear nonproliferation starting Thursday, to be attended by Choe Son Hui, director of North American affairs at the North Korean Foreign Ministry, and Wendy Sherman, former U.S. undersecretary of state for political affairs. Some expect the two countries to have some type of contact during the event……..


October 18, 2017 - Posted by | politics international, Russia

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