Moscow, Washington See Eye to Eye on North
Korea Issue

MOSCOW (RIA Novosti) – Russia and the United States see eye to eye on the North Korea issue, a source at the Russian Foreign Ministry told the RIA news agency Friday.

According to the source, North Korea’s nuclear weapons program was high on the agenda of Russian officials’ latest talks in Moscow with John Bolton, US Undersecretary of State.

"The main thing that unites us today is the awareness of the fact that the problem needs a diplomatic solution and that there is nothing better than the existing format of six-party talks," with the participants being the two Koreas, the US, Russia, China, and Japan, our interviewee pointed out.

Also, both sides realize that there need to be prerequisites for North Korea to make a decision that would enable it to get back into the framework of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, with all ensuing implications in terms of the control over and the elimination of the potential for producing weapons of mass destruction.

"The settlement should bring us back to the concept of the nuclear-free Korean peninsula, with North Korea to be given guarantees of its security," the source pointed out. At the most recent consultations with Bolton, however, no specific date was given for a second round of North Korean talks, he added. The next round should be held not in the one-vs-five format, but with each of the six parties concerned to play its own particular role, said the Foreign Ministry official. Russia, China, Japan and South Korea are all interested in having the Korean Peninsula as a stable and predictable region. The United States wants North Korea to get rid of its nuclear potential and to rejoin the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. And North Korea seeks to get security guarantees for itself and conditions for its national development, he said