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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia, China agree to promote resumption of N.Korea talks

RIA Novosti

18/11/2006 16:06 HANOI, November 18 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian and Chinese leaders agreed to act in a coordinated way for the soonest possible resumption of six-party talks on the North Korean nuclear problem, the Russian foreign minister said Saturday.

"Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Hu Jintao agreed to act on the North Korean problem in a determined and coordinated way, in order to resume the six-party talks as soon as possible," Sergei Lavrov told journalists.

The six-nation talks, involving North Korea, South Korea, Russia, Japan, China and the United States, were launched in 2003 to persuade North Korea to give up its controversial nuclear program after Pyongyang withdrew from the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The talks stalled last November over Pyongyang's demand that the U.S. lift sanctions imposed on it for its alleged involvement in counterfeiting and other illegal activities.

North Korea announced it conducted its first nuclear test October 9, and threatened to take "physical measures" after the UN Security Council unanimously voted October 14 to pass a resolution imposing sanctions on the reclusive Communist state.

North Korea's leader Kim Jong-il told Chinese envoy Tang Jiaxuan during talks October 18-19 in Pyongyang that the country has no plans to conduct another nuclear test, but warned that "the country might take further action if pressure on North Korea continues."

"The situation should never lead to a deadlock," President Vladimir Putin said October 25. "None of the negotiating parties should be driven into a corner, with no way out except by escalating tensions."

Putin said that diplomacy should be the only way for the international community to dissuade North Korea from further nuclear tests.

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