Russian Diplomat Claims That North Korea Doesn't Possess Nuclear Weapons at Present

At the conclusion of Russian-Japanese consultations on strategic stability in Tokyo on Wednesday, Russian deputy foreign minister Georgi Mamedov stated that North Korea currently doesn't possess nuclear weapons, although it might acquire them if no peaceful solution to the existing crisis on the Korean peninsula is found soon.

According to Mr. Mamedov, the DPRK is afraid of the US military threat and believes that the only way to protect its independence is to bolster its military potential. "Such attitudes in North Korea might continue growing if the United States ignores the UN resolutions and start a unilateral military campaign against Iraq," warned the Russian deputy foreign minister.

Russia and Japan share a common opinion that the interests of both countries will be harmed if the situation on the Korean peninsula remains the same, said Mr. Mamedov. He pointed out that "the Iraqi problem takes up a lot of the world community's attention, but the Korean problem is not less dangerous and complicated." He admitted that the spread of nuclear weapons is a threat to Russia, although both the DPRK and the United States are responsible for the growing tensions on the Korean peninsula.

Moscow stands for a direct dialogue between the USA and the DPRK in order to solve the crisis, but deems it necessary to include this dialogue in the context of negotiations on the level of the entire world community.

"The format of such talks must be determined by the sides concerned," said the Russian diplomat. As to the sanctions against the DPRK, they are out of the question because "they would never bring positive results," concluded Mr. Mamedov.