Russia urges N. Korea to resume nuke talks

July 6, 2009 at 11:00 AM

MOSCOW, July 6 (UPI) -- The Russian Foreign Ministry said it laments North Korea's latest missile launches and urged the Communist country's leaders to resume negotiations.

North Korea test-fired seven missiles Saturday, which the South Korean Defense Ministry said were Scud-type rockets that flew about 300 miles before falling in the Sea of Japan.

"The series of missile launches conducted by North Korea in the past few days has not gone unnoticed," Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said. "We regret the fact that a U.N. member-country is openly defying U.N. Resolution 1874 and is stubbornly refusing to heed the demands of the international community, including the states which have traditionally friendly ties with North Korea."

Nesterenko also said the ministry urged Pyongyang "not to carry out new steps which could deteriorate an already tense situation in the region, and return to the negotiation table," RIA Novosti reported.

North Korea is banned from conducting nuclear tests or missile launches under a U.N. resolution adopted after the reclusive country's first nuclear test in October 2006. A second nuclear test was conducted in May, followed by a number of missile test-firings.

The move led to the United Nations' imposition of new sanctions on North Korea that ban the import and export of nuclear material and weapons except small arms.

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