MOSCOW, Feb. 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and Russia have agreed that the stalled six-nation talks on ending North Korea's nuclear weapons program need to be swiftly resumed, a Seoul envoy said Thursday, amid persistent concern following the death of the North's leader Kim Jong-il.
The agreement was reached at a meeting in Moscow between South Korea's chief envoy to the six-party talks, Lim Sung-nam, and his Russian counterpart, Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov.
"Both sides reached a consensus on the need for an early resumption of the six-party talks," Lim told reporters after the meeting. Lim arrived in Moscow on Wednesday for a three-day visit.
The abrupt demise of Kim, who died of a heart attack in December, has put a brake on renewed diplomacy to reopen the six-party talks, which involve the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the U.S.
The talks have been dormant since late 2008, but efforts to get North Korea back to the negotiating table gained some momentum last year.
Shortly before Kim died, the United States and North Korea were scheduled to hold a third round of bilateral talks that were apparently poised to announce a breakthrough toward the resumption of the multilateral process.
South Korea and the United States have insisted that the North accept a monitored shutdown of its uranium enrichment program before the aid-for-disarmament talks can resume.
During his stay in Moscow, Lim plans to meet with Russia's former Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and other Russian experts on the Korean Peninsula to exchange views on North Korea and its nuclear issue, Seoul officials said.
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