Lavrov hopeful for North Korea nuke talks

April 24, 2009 at 3:23 PM
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SEOUL, April 24 (UPI) -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says he is hopeful North Korea will change its position and take part in talks about its controversial nuclear program.

The Russian official said while North Korea is not now prepared to engage in six-party talks about its nuclear efforts, Russia is working to get the negotiations under way sometime in the future, ITAR-TASS reported Friday.

"Today, North Korea is not ready to return to the negotiating table," said Lavrov, adding that the attempt to get North Korean involved should not be rushed.

" Our joint task is to create conditions towards the resumption of the negotiating process."

Lavrov arrived in Seoul Friday to take part in discussions with South Korean officials regarding the North Korean nuclear situation.

The Russian official's two-day visit will also focus on bilateral relations, ITAR-TASS said.

After meeting with South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan Friday, Lavrov said Russia is ready to work with North Korea on satellite projects.

"Russia is cooperating with many countries in aerospace, including launches of satellites by our boosters, including with South Korea. We (are) ready for North Korea's developing similar projects," Lavrov said.

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