HEADLINE Two Koreas avoid Russian opportunity to hold talks


Two Koreas avoid Russian opportunity to hold talks

Global Times

08:52, October 16, 2017

Politicians from North and South Korea will not hold direct talks in Russia on Monday about Pyongyang's nuclear and missile program despite attending an event at the same time and place, Russian news agencies said on Sunday.
Valentina Matviyenko, speaker of the upper house of parliament, is due to discuss separately with a deputy head of North Korea's legislature and the head of South Korea's parliament on the sidelines of a congress of parliamentarians in St Petersburg on Monday, TASS quoted a senior Russian lawmaker, on Saturday.
TASS cited a Russian parliamentarian as saying Moscow would call on the two countries to use the opportunity to have direct talks to try to narrow their differences.
But the RIA news agency on Sunday cited Piotr Tolstoi,  deputy speaker of the Russian lower house of parliament, and an unnamed member of North Korea's delegation as saying there would not be any talks.
The unnamed North Korean delegate was quoted as saying that US pressure on Pyongyang and US and South Korean military exercises meant preconditions for such talks had not been met.
North Korea's nuclear tests and missile launches have stirred global tensions and prompted international sanctions at the UN Security Council.
A de-escalation plan, backed by Russia and China, would see North Korea suspend its ballistic missile program and the US and South Korea simultaneously call a moratorium on large-scale missile exercises, both moves aimed at paving the way for multilateral talks.

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