Moscow gets chillier toward Pyongyang: Yun

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Moscow gets chillier toward Pyongyang: Yun

Russia has gotten chillier toward North Korea and warmer to South Korea, Seoul’s most senior diplomat said Tuesday, citing a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow two days ago.

“Russia used to oppose any mention of North Korea’s nuclear program and the use of the word ‘condemnation’ in a bilateral statement,” Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se told reporters Tuesday in Saint Petersburg. Moscow no longer objects, Yun said.

Yun’s remarks came two days after he and Lavrov agreed to push for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

The two vowed not to acknowledge North Korea as a nuclear state and consented to “faithfully carry out” United Nations Security Council resolutions to punish Pyongyang for its fourth nuclear test in January and a long-range missile launch the following month.

“Russia’s position is that it cannot tolerate the Korean peninsula turning into a place of confrontation,” Lavrov said through an interpreter during a press conference following the meeting with Yun Sunday.

Yun said Moscow had started describing Seoul as a “core partner in its diplomatic strategy.”

“Russia appears to highly value South Korea because of its strategic emphasis on Asia,” Yun said.

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