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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

S. Korea diplomat to visit Russia to discuss Cheonan crisis

RIA Novosti

19:28 01/06/2010

SEOUL, June 1 (RIA Novosti) - A senior South Korean diplomat will arrive in Moscow on Wednesday to discuss rising tensions on the Korean peninsula following the sinking of the Cheonan corvette in the Yellow Sea, the South Korean Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

"Head of the staff on issues of peace an exchange on the Korean Peninsula Vee Son Nak will visit Moscow on June 2-4 to discuss questions of interest to both parties, including the Cheonan situation," the ministry said.

It said the Korean diplomat is expected to hold talks with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Borodavkin.

Vee Son Nak and Borodavkin headed the South Korean and Russian delegations at the Six-Party Talks in Beijing on North Korea's Nuclear Program. In April 2009, North Korea halted the talks in protest to UN Security Council's condemnation of its missile tests.

South Korea's 1,200-ton Cheonan corvette 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 had fired a torpedo at the vessel from a submarine.

South Korea subsequently froze economic relations and maritime communications with its northern neighbor. The decision was blow to the North's economy, already damaged by UN sanctions intended to force Pyongyang to quit its nuclear program.

North Korea retaliated by announcing that it was cutting all ties with Seoul and allegedly ordered its 1.2-million armed forces to get ready for combat. It later announced the withdrawal of all its military safeguards in relations with the South and said it would scrap an agreement between the two countries aimed at preventing clashes off the west coast.



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