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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia's Lavrov calls for calm over S.Korea ship sinking to resume six-party talks

RIA Novosti

16:07 14/07/2010 MOSCOW, July 14 (RIA Novosti) - Negotiators from the six party talks on North Korea's nuclear disarmament should avoid the escalation of emotions in the wake of South Korea's Cheonan warship sinking, the Russian foreign minister said on Wednesday.

The 1,200-ton South Korean warship sank near the disputed Northern Limit Line in the Yellow Sea on March 26, causing the loss of 46 lives. South Korea says it has proof that North Korea fired a torpedo at the vessel from a submarine, although Pyongyang denies the attack.

"I believe that the most important at the present time is to ease the situation, avoid agitation, escalation of emotions and start preparing conditions for the resumption of the six-party talks," Sergei Lavrov told journalists concerning the situation with the Cheonan.

Talks on North Korea's nuclear program, involving Russia, Japan, China, the United States and the two Koreas, stalled last April when Pyongyang pulled out of the negotiations in protest against the United Nations' condemnation of its missile tests.

North Korea is banned from conducting nuclear or ballistic tests under UN Resolution 1718, adopted after North Korea's first nuclear test on October 9, 2006.

However, Pyongyang carried out a second nuclear test on May 25, 2009, followed by a series of short-range missile launches, and has threatened to build up its nuclear arsenal to counter what it calls hostile U.S. policies.



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