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Lavrov To Discuss 'New Russian, Chinese Initiative' On Korean Peninsula With Visiting South Korean FM

By RFE/RL June 16, 2019

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is set to host his South Korean counterpart in Moscow on June 17 for talks on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has said that Lavrov and South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha will discuss "a number of steps proposed by Russia and China in their new initiative, an action plan aimed at finding a comprehensive solution to the Korean Peninsula's issues."

It said the initiative "expands upon" a joint proposal put forward by Moscow and Beijing that would start with the United States and South Korea suspending their regular military exercises in exchange for Pyongyang suspending its nuclear and ballistic missile tests.

U.S. officials have dismissed the plan.

North Korea has carried out six nuclear tests and claims to have developed a nuclear bomb small enough to go on a long-range missile.

It also has a ballistic missile that experts believe could reach the U.S. mainland.

Meeting in Singapore in June 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signed an agreement committing to the "complete" denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Since then, there has been little progress.

Trump and Kim met for a second summit in Hanoi in February, but talks broke down over Pyongyang demanding sanctions relief.

Last month, 70 countries at the United Nations signed a declaration urging Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, and related programs, calling them a "grave and undiminished threat" to peace.

Russia and China did not sign the document.

With reporting by TASS

Source: https://www.rferl.org/a/lavrov-to- discuss-new-russian-chinese-initiative-on-korean- peninsula-with-visiting-south-korean-fm/30002495.html

Copyright (c) 2019. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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