US Congressional delegation discusses North Korean problem in Vladivostok

Viktor Gorchakov, deputy governor of the Primorye Region has met with a US Congressional delegation headed by Dennis Halpin. The regional administration's press office told Rosbalt that meeting was attended by US consul in Vladivostok Pamela Spratlen, three other congressmen, the chairman of the regional international cooperation committee and a representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

One of the issues discussed at the meeting was the North Korean problem, together with regional relations in the Asia-Pacific region as a whole. Participants also discussed trade and economic cooperation between the Primorye Region and neighbouring countries.

Gorchakov said that the Primorye Region shares concern over North Korea. He added that trade and economic cooperation between the region and North Korea had grown in 2002-2003, although the region's main foreign partners were still China, Japan and South Korea. The US is in 4th or 5th place.

Halpin said that the US' official position is that the North Korean problem must be resolved through multilateral talks. So far, talks have been held involving China, the US and North Korea, but the US is interested in attracting South Korea, Japan and Russia to the process as well.