Russian Official: Pyongyang Interested in Moscow Proposal to Settle Nuclear Problem on Korean Peninsula

Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and special envoy of the President of Russia Alexander Losyukov said that his negotiations in Pyongyang were very useful, constructive and interesting.

"North Korea displayed interest in Russia's proposals on settling the nuclear problem; they are studied very attentively there and, I think, something of what has been proposed can be used," said Alexander Losyukov immediately on his arrival at Beijing airport from Pyongyang.

He also said that his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, which lasted about six hours, was "very useful and interesting." In accordance with the instructions of the President, said Alexander Losyukov, the Russian delegation held a number of meetings and talks with the aim of clarifying the details and the position of the North Korean side and made "some proposals connected with the current crisis." According to him, this is a package plan which was considered by Pyongyang with interest.

At the same time, Alexander Losyukov underscored that the dialogue on settling the nuclear problem on the Korean peninsula should be conducted in the first place between the two sides - the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the United States. "The North Korean side insists on this, and there is logic in this," said Losyukov and added that Russia would make all possible efforts to create the best atmosphere for these negotiations. At the same time, continued Alexander Losyukov, Russia will exchange views with representatives of other countries, including the United States. However, the settling of the crisis will depend above all on the DPRK and the USA.

As the Deputy Foreign Minister underscored, Russia is interested in having no conflict situation at its borders. This is harmful not only for security, but also undermines the prospects for trade and economic cooperation, said Alexander Losyukov.

Speaking about the developing contacts between Russia and the DPRK, Alexander Losyukov said that the DPRK was ready for such contacts with Russia, and this is a mutual desire of the two sides. Therefore, said the deputy minister, "we have come to an agreement in Pyongyang that such contacts and the exchange of opinions will continue on a regular basis." "Very good contacts have been established between us at the highest level, and this fact determines the whole manner of actions," added Alexander Losyukov.

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