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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia, China to try to prevent conflict on Korean Peninsula - Lavrov

RIA Novosti

17:05 04/06/2010

BEIJING, June 4 (RIA Novosti) - Russia and China will try to prevent a conflict breaking out on the Korean Peninsula, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday.

"Both Russia and China are deeply concerned about what is happening. The Korean Peninsula is practically on the verge of military and political crisis," Lavrov said at a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi in Beijing.

"We are confident that the situation cannot be allowed to develop into the sphere of uncontrolled tension, which could lead to a full-scale conflict between North and South Korea. Russia and China will do all they can to prevent this," he said.

Tensions in the region grew after a South Korean warship sank near the disputed Northern Limit Line in the Yellow Sea on March 26, causing the loss of 46 lives. An international investigation revealed that North Korea fired a torpedo at the vessel from a submarine, although Pyongyang has denied the allegations.

"Measures should be taken against those guilty [of sinking of the warship] when they are identified," Lavrov said.

Lavrov also said that it was still too early to speak of the resumption of six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear program, which stalled last April after Pyongyang pulled out of negotiations in protest to the United Nations' condemnation of its missile tests.

"We are confident that it will be necessary to return to them as there is no other mechanism to settle the problem," Lavrov said.

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