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Russian Federation says ready to exert influence on North Korea: RIA

09 December 2017

North Korea is reportedly open to direct talks with the U.S. over its nuclear ambitions, according to Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, who delivered his message to United States secretary of state, Rex Tillerson during their meeting in Vienna on Thursday.

"In Washington, a U.S. State Department spokeswoman said the Trump administration still wanted a peaceful, diplomatic solution to the nuclear and missile threat from Pyongyang but said: "(North Korea) has shown through its actions that it is not interested in talks.

It is the first trip of a UN Political Affairs chief to North Korea since his predecessor, also Lynn Pascoe visited in February 2010.

Speculation is rising in South Korea that the Kim Jong Un regime may have asked a senior United Nations official to ease sanctions against the country, as Jeffrey Feltman concluded his four-day visit to Pyongyang.

State media also said Feltman visited a Pyongyang maternity hospital and a "disease prevention" facility, but left out mention of details around his meeting with foreign ministry officials.

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A meeting on this with all political party leaders is set for lunchtime today. The border issue remained the main sticking point.

"We know that North Korea wants above all to talk to the United States about guarantees for its security".

Pyongyang is seeking US recognition as a nuclear weapons state.

B-1Bs flyovers have become an increasingly familiar show of force to North Korea, which after three intercontinental ballistic missile tests has clearly moved closer toward building a nuclear arsenal that could viably target the USA mainland.

This alleged readiness for talks comes at a time of heightened tensions between the USA and North Korea. When asked about remarks by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that North Korea wants direct talks with the USA about its security, Nauert said, "As a general matter the issue of direct talks with North Korea is not on the table until they are willing to denuclearize".

Analysts in South Korea say the visit is a significant gesture for North Korea.

Russian Federation says ready to exert influence on North Korea: RIA