MOSCOW, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- Russia says it will move ahead with fuel oil shipments to North Korea despite a U.S. assertion that an embargo had been invoked.
The round of six-party talks involving North and South Korea, the United States, Russia, China and Japan broke up in Beijing last week without an accord being reached on how to verify Pyongyang's denuclearization activities. After the meeting, U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the parties had agreed fuel would not be shipped until progress was made, RIA Novosti reported Sunday.
But that stance was disputed by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister and chief North Korea negotiator Alexei Borodavkin, who said his country will proceed with a third batch of 50,000 metric tons of fuel oil this month in accordance with previous six-party talks agreements.
"The statement by the U.S. State Department made following the six-party talks in Beijing surprised us," Borodavkin told the news service, adding that Moscow hoped the heating oil deliveries would spur Pyongyang to complete phasing out its Yongbyon nuclear complex.