October 1, 2014 / 10:40 AM / 3 years ago

Russia sees chance of six-party talks on North Korea resuming

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (R) and his North Korean counterpart Ri Su Yong attend a signing ceremony during a meeting in Moscow, October 1, 2014.Sergei Karpukhin

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after talks with North Korea's foreign minister on Wednesday that he saw a possibility of six-party talks resuming on Pyongyang's nuclear programme but that it would take time.

North Korea, South Korea, Japan, China, Russia and the United States began talks in 2003 with the aim of ridding the Korean peninsula of nuclear weapons but they were suspended after Pyongyang launched a ballistic missile.

"The talks today confirmed that resuming the six-party talks is possible. Not immediately, it will take a certain time, Lavrov said following the talks in Moscow with Ri Su Yong.

"The main (condition) for these talks to resume is to achieve from all sides a calm, balanced approach and, of course, not allowing any abrupt steps that would only polarise positions," he said.

"The situation is difficult but not hopeless."

North Korea promised to abandon its nuclear programme in 2005 but backed away from the agreement by testing nuclear devices in 2006 and 2009.

Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska, Editing by Timothy Heritage

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