Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov weighed in on the very recent announcement that President Trump has accepted the invitation for talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un sometime before the end of May this year.
We consider it to be a step in the right direction. Hopefully, the agreement will be implemented. Obviously it is necessary for normalizing the situation around the Korean peninsula… We also welcome the agreement reached by Seoul and Pyongyang to hold an inter-Korean summit in April…
“This all is what both the Russian Federation, the People’s Republic of China and many other countries have called for, taking a stand in favor of clearing the air around the nuclear problem of the Korean peninsula and using not threats, ultimatums, unilateral sanctions, but a dialogue based on mutual respect, through looking for such agreements that all sides will be satisfied with…”
The Russian TASS News Agency also noted that Mr. Lavrov declined to opine on whether or not Kim Jong-un’s move towards talks was a result of sanctions imposed on North Korea by the US. He stated that the main thing that is important is that the talks take place, and that those talks result in positive and productive actions taken to bring a lasting settlement to the problem.
What is even more important is to make sure that the agreement will be implemented instead of ending in nothing, but will open up the way to a full-fledged political negotiation process to be resumed to settle the nuclear problem of the Korean peninsula based on existing principles approved at the six-party talks and at the UN Security Council.”
The move toward talks came as North Korea continued to display a shift in its stance towards the outside world, starting with Kim Jong-un’s New Year’s speech, and subsequent talks with the South Korean leader, President Sun-Rae Moon and further, with North and South Korea’s joint participation with the North in the Winter Olympics, just completed.