Putin: North Korea has Left the Door Open

When answering journalists' questions upon the conclusion of Russo-Japanese talks today in the Kremlin, President Vladimir Putin said that the Russian leadership had studied North Korea's declaration that it was withdrawing from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and said that "the North Korean leadership has left the door open for negotiations." According to the Russian president, Russia believes that "all the concerns and issues of all sides will be resolved precisely through negotiations." Putin said that Russia's position remained "principled and unchanged." The head of state clarified this as meaning that Russia wanted to see the Korean peninsula as a nuclear-free zone, while it supported "the maintenance and enhancement of the system of the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction."