Russia is optimistic about North Korea’s recent talks with the South and the United States over its nuclear weapons programs, Seoul’s top nuclear envoy said Saturday.
Returning from his three-day visit to Russia, Lim Sung-nam said, “Russia is viewing the two rounds of South-North and North-U.S. talks positively,” in a phone interview with the Yonhap news agency.
Lim left for Russia earlier this week as part of policy coordination efforts with member nations of six-party talks on ending North Korea’s nuclear weapons after being named Seoul’s chief negotiator at the disarmament talks last month.
“(I will) further increase joint efforts with Russia to solve North Korean issues on the basis of strategic partnerships,” the special representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs said.
His comments came after the North held talks with two of six-party meeting members, with a view to pave the way for reopening the multilateral disarmament dialogue. The broader talks, involving two Koreas, the U.S., China, Japan and Russia, have been at a standstill since April 2009 when the North quit the negotiating table, then conducted its second nuclear test a month later.
The two Koreas held two rounds of talks in July and September aimed at persuading the North to take concrete steps toward denuclearization before the multilateral forum can resume. Two rounds of similar Washington-Pyongyang talks took place in July in New York and in Geneva earlier this month.
Lim’s Russian visit included meetings with his Russian counterpart, Alexei Borodavkin, and other senior officials, according to the foreign ministry.