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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russian envoy off to Japan to discuss resumption of N. Korea talks

RIA Novosti

26/06/2007 18:32 MOSCOW, June 26 (RIA Novosti) - Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukov, Russia's chief negotiator at the six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear program, will fly to Japan Wednesday to discuss the resumption of talks, the Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.

"On Wednesday, he will fly to Tokyo to discuss the North Korea nuclear problem with his Japanese counterpart," the ministry said, adding that they would also discuss a date for the next round of nuclear disarmament talks.

The six negotiators - the United States, Japan, China, Russia, North and South Korea - will decide on further talks depending on the results of a current visit by a senior UN nuclear watchdog official to the reclusive Communist state over the closure of its only operating nuclear reactor producing weapons-grade plutonium.

Pyongyang invited International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors after it became clear that its $25 million frozen in China's Macao bank over U.S. money laundering suspicions had been transferred home after a lengthy delay.

North Korea had refused to meet its disarmament commitments under a breakthrough February deal also envisioning economic aid and other incentives for the impoverished state until the funds had been transferred.

Earlier reports said the talks could be resumed in early July, and the six countries' foreign ministers might discuss the problem in August in Manila, the Philippines, during an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) forum.

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