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Russia's deputy nuke negotiator visits N. Korea

2017/07/25 16:49

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SEOUL, July 25 (Yonhap) -- Russia's deputy nuclear negotiator has visited North Korea to discuss issues on the divided peninsula with the North's senior diplomats, Pyongyang's state media said Tuesday.

Oleg Burmistrov, Russia's ambassador-at-large, met with North Korea's vice foreign minister Sin Hong-chol and also talked with a director in charge of North America affairs, according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

Burmistrov is known to also serve as Moscow's deputy negotiator to the now-stalled six-party denuclearization talks involving South and North Korea, the United States, China, Japan and Russia. He arrived in Pyongyang on Saturday for a four-day stay.

"We told him that if Washington does not give up its hostile policy toward the North and end its nuclear threats, we will not put nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles up for negotiation," the KCNA said. "We also made it clear that we will not budge an inch from our firm will to strengthen our nuclear force."

   North Korea test-fired its first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on July 4, claiming that it can hit targets anywhere in the world.

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is working on a new sanctions resolution to punish the North for its latest ICBM test.

Earlier this month, the UNSC failed to adopt a press statement condemning the North's ICBM launch, because of opposition from Russia, one of five veto-wielding permanent council members, U.N. diplomats said.

The North is seeking to get closer to Russia as its ties with Beijing, North Korea's ally, have been frayed over the North's nuclear and missile aspirations.

sooyeon@yna.co.kr

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