N. Korea ready for nuclear test ban if talks start: Kremlin

24th August 2011, Comments 0 comments

North Korea is ready to impose a moratorium on nuclear testing and processing in the case of the resumption of six-party talks on its nuclear programme, a Kremlin official said Wednesday.

Kremlin spokeswoman Natalya Timakova's comments came after a rare summit meeting in Siberia between North Korea's lead Kim Jong-Il and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

Timakova said Kim expressed a willingness to return to the so-called six-party negotiations, which include China, Japan and the United States as well as the two Koreas and Russia.

"Without preconditions, in the course of the negotiations, the North Koreans will be ready to solve the issue of introducing a moratorium on testing and spent nuclear fuel processing," Timakova said.

North Korea has previously called for an early resumption of six-party talks "without preconditions", but South Korea insists that its neighbour must first suspend its atomic activities.

Under a six-party deal in September 2005, the North agreed in principle to scrap its atomic weapons programme in return for economic aid and major security and diplomatic benefits.

But the agreement eventually broke down, amid accusations of bad faith by both sides.

© 2011 AFP

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