Russia says to facilitate dialogue between U.S., DPRK

Russia is ready to facilitate bilateral dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang within the framework of the six-party talks, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday.

“We propose to all to calm down and freeze all confrontational actions, first of all, actions related to military operations including launching missiles, testing nuclear weapons and organizing large-scale maneuvers, which the United States, South Korea and Japan are conducting in this region,” Lavrov said at a press conference.

He said that Russia actively supports “direct contacts between the most interested parties” when the confrontation is terminated.

“If we talk about the nuclear issue, it is primarily between Pyongyang and Washington, but we will also be ready to contribute to this bilateral dialogue within the framework of the six-party process,” he said.

The six-party talks to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, which involved South Korea, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), China, the United States, Russia and Japan, have been suspended since late 2008.

In particular, Lavrov highlighted that Russia and China are actively interacting to achieve this goal within the framework of their joint initiative on the transition to a political settlement on the Korean Peninsula, which calls for the end of the military confrontation.

He noted that the work is going slowly as Washington seems to prefer a military solution despite catastrophic consequences.

“When conditions for a transition to dialogue were developed, in most cases we witnessed provocative actions in the form of larger-scale military activities around Pyongyang, which provoked a new round of tension,” Lavrov said.

Meanwhile, Lavrov denied that Russia was invited to join in the upcoming ministerial meeting in Canada on the Korean Peninsula.

The Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on Security and Stability on Korean Peninsula, co-hosted by Canada and the United States, will be convened in Vancouver on Tuesday.

“With all due respect to those who initiated this meeting, I do not expect anything productive. I only hope nothing counter-productive happens,” Lavrov said.

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