Seoul envoy heads to Moscow for N.Korea talks

15th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

A senior South Korean diplomat left for Russia Tuesday, the foreign ministry said, as Seoul deepens efforts to gain international condemnation of North Korea's nuclear program.

Cho Hyun-Dong, deputy South Korean envoy to six-party disarmament talks, will hold discussions with Russia's top nuclear envoy, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Borodavkin, and his deputy Grigory Logvinov, Seoul said.

Cho is expected to discuss Borodavkin's recent visit to Pyongyang, the North's position on its uranium enrichment program and ways to resume stalled six-party talks, Yonhap news agency said.

He will return home Thursday, the ministry said.

Borodavkin visited the North from Friday through to Monday, meeting with Foreign Minister Pak Ui-Chun and Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye-Kwan, Pyongyang's chief envoy to the six-party talks, Yonhap said.

The communist North sparked regional security fears in November when it disclosed an apparently functional uranium enrichment plant to visiting US experts.

The North said it was a peaceful energy project but experts said it could give the North another route to making atomic bombs.

Six-party disarmament talks grouping the two Koreas, Japan, Russia, the United States and China have been deadlocked since Pyongyang walked out in April 2009 and staged its second nuclear test a month later.

Seoul wants the UN Security Council to address the North's uranium programme, but an attempt last month to publish a UN report criticising the North failed amid opposition from Beijing, Pyongyang's strong ally.

Russia has backed South Korea's call for the Security Council to debate the North's uranium programme.

© 2011 AFP

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