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North Korea Settlement a Top Issue at Moscow Non-Proliferation Conference

Nov. 9, (EIRNS)—Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula was a major topic in and around the Moscow Non-Proliferation Conference on Nov. 7-9, along with talks concerning Iran.

U.S. Special Envoy for North Korea Mark Lambert, who is representing the U.S. at the conference, met with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov and Ambassador at Large Oleg Burmistrov on the sidelines of the conference on Nov. 8, as the Foreign Ministry reported yesterday. A statement by the U.S. Embassy in Moscow said: “The conversation was candid and constructive, and Special Envoy Lambert emphasized the importance of continued close coordination with Russia on North Korea.”

Speaking at the conference, Morgulov commented that the sanctions regime against North Korea has “exhausted” itself, “I cannot imagine which major sanctions of restrictions could be further imposed on North Korea. As of today, this international [sanction] regime against North Korea, the regime of the United Nations Security Council, is one of the toughest in the world.” He further said that Moscow has proposed a phased lifting of sanctions each time some progress is made.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also addressed the conference, saying: “The Korean Peninsula’s nuclear issuecan be only settled through diplomatic methods based on dialogue between all interested countries. A full-fledged launch of denuclearization process will become a reality only provided that political talks move forward based on reciprocal steps by concerned parties.”

North Korea’s representative Jo Chol Su, director of the North Korean Foreign Ministry’s North American department, told the conference that his country hopes talks would begin before the end of the year. When asked if international experts could visit the dismantled Yongbyon nuclear test, Jo replied: “As for a visit by nuclear experts, we haven’t received any positive response to our initiatives yet,” he said, “It is a matter for further discussion. I would like to point out that we are ready to consider everything in a positive sense.”

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