Russia: Diplomacy best choice for North Korean nuclear row

Feb. 7, 2014 at 11:26 AM
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MOSCOW, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- The likelihood of a nuclear test from North Korea diminishes with every multilateral diplomatic step, the Russian envoy to North Korea said Friday.

North Korea has conducted two nuclear tests since multilateral talks stalled in 2009. Russian Ambassador Alexander Timonin told state news agency RIA Novosti diplomacy was still the best way to resolve the nuclear impasse with North Korea.

If all parties to the negotiation show "goodwill and take reciprocal steps to defuse tension and engage with dialogue with the North, then the probability of new North Korean nuclear tests will be significantly reduced," he said in an interview published Friday.

Timonin said Russia plans to deliver 50 tons of grain this year to North Korea to help with a lingering food crisis there.

The U.S. government suspended food assistance to North Korea in 2012 following a failed effort to launch a missile.

Writing on the blog 38 North, researchers from Johns Hopkins University said Thursday commercial satellite imagery of North Korea suggests Pyongyang is working to enhance its rocket-launch capabilities at its Sohae Satellite Launching Station.

North Korea is accused by its rivals of putting its nuclear and military ambitions ahead of the welfare of its people.

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