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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Moscow praises recent U.S.-North Korea talks

RIA Novosti


MOSCOW, December 10 (RIA Novosti) - Moscow hopes that recent groundbreaking direct talks between a U.S. official and North Korea will lead to the reclusive Communist state returning to six-party talks on its nuclear program.

Stephen Bosworth held talks with North Korea on persuading Pyongyang to return to six-party negotiations involving the U.S., Russia, Japan, China and the two Koreas on Wednesday.

"It was with satisfaction that we noted the sides were able to enter a meaningful dialogue, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said. "Russia welcomes contacts in any form on the Korean peninsula's nuclear program that could lead to a return to six party talks.

"We are counting on our American and Korean colleagues to quickly find common ground," he added.

Six-party talks broke down in April when North Korea walked out of the negotiating process over U.S. condemnation of its missile tests. The North has recently hinted that it was willing to return to six-party talks, but insisted it first negotiate directly with the United States to repair "hostile relations."

Washington has been cautious about the expectations of Bosworth's trip, emphasizing that his visit is solely aimed at bringing the reclusive communist regime to talks in multilateral format rather than engaging in bilateral discussions of North Korean denuclearization issues.

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