Russia to participate in North Korean nuclear arms talks

'A sensational event occurred on August 1. The North Korean Ambassador to Russia sent a memorandum to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that welcomes Russia's participation in multi-lateral talks on the problem of the emergence of nuclear weapons on the Korean peninsula,' said Director of the Russian Academy of Science's Institute of Far East Studies Mikhail Titarenko today on radio Echo Moskvy. Titarenko said that neither Russia or the US has reliable information that North Korea has nuclear weapons or an atomic bomb. 'North Korea has only said that its scientists are conducting work in this area. It is also known that North Korea has a certain amount of uranium and plutonium from which it could create an atomic bomb, but only in the case if it disposes of a determined technological manufacture. The North Koreans do not have that technology so far,' he said.

He also said the US information that North Korea is disposing of two nuclear shells does not mean that North Korea has nuclear weapons because there have been no nuclear tests conducted on the Korean peninsula. 'Nuclear weapons can be considered authentic only after the conducting of testing,' he said. On the territory of North Korea only underground tests of nuclear weapons can be conducted, and they would be discovered immediately by Russia, China, and the US,' Titarenko said. According to US information, 70 detonation tests of nuclear bombs were conducted in North Korea. However, Titarenko says that does not prove that nuclear shells are prepared.

He said that North Korea requires from the US official recognition and guarantees of security from military invasion and guarantees of non-use of nuclear weapons. 'The Iraq war convinced the North Korean leadership that to make concessions to the the US without additional guarantees is impossible,' said Titarenko. He is confident with the addition of Russia in the multi-lateral talks a new chance of peacefully deciding the North Korean nuclear problem is at hand.

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