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North Korea nuclear issue to be discussed in Moscow

Russia, the United States and South Korea will continue talks on the denuclearization of North Korea in Moscow this week, Seoul’s Yonhap news agency said on Monday.

South Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kwon Jong-rak set off for Russia earlier today and is expected to meet with a Russian counterpart on Tuesday. The diplomats will discuss the nuclear issue, as well as a future summit between the two countries’ presidents. South Korea’s top negotiator at the six-nation talks, Kim Sook, and US Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill are expected to arrive in Moscow on Wednesday and Friday, respectively. They will hold negotiations with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Borodavkin, the new head of the Russian delegation to the international talks, which also involve North Korea, China and Japan.

The six-party negotiations on North Korea’s nuclear program, which begun in 2003, stalled after Pyongyang failed last December to disclose full information on its nuclear work. Pyongyang started disabling its Yongbyon nuclear plant late last year in exchange for economic aid and diplomatic incentives. Last Friday, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Chinese President Hu Jintao issued a joint declaration calling for a peaceful solution to the North Korean nuclear problem. (