October 14, 2008

North Korean Foreign Minister Due in Moscow 14 October – Yonhap

Text of report in English by South Korean news agency Yonhap

[Yonhap headline: "N.K. Foreign Minister in Moscow To Discuss Nuclear, Wider Ties: Report"]

SEOUL, Oct. 14 (Yonhap) - North Korea's foreign minister was to arrive in Russia on Tuesday for talks with Russian officials possibly on bilateral ties and the North's denuclearization, a report said.

During a four-day stay in Moscow, Pak Ui-jun will meet ranking Moscow officials including his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, Itar-Tass quoted an unnamed Russian Foreign Ministry official as telling the news agency.

An agenda for the upcoming consultations has not been disclosed yet, but the two sides may coordinate their approaches to the six- party nuclear disarmament process, according to the report.

Discussions may also focus on ways to expand political, economic and cultural cooperation, it said, quoting diplomatic sources.

The United States removed North Korea from a list of countries accused of sponsoring terrorism on Saturday after a deal was reached to allow inspections of the North's declared nuclear arsenal.

North Korea, in return, told the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Monday that it would resume disabling its main nuclear complex at Yongbyon, the UN nuclear watchdog body said.

Pyongyang has also allowed international inspectors back to the Yongbyon nuclear plant, the IAEA said.

Pak's trip was timed to coincide with the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries which fell on Sunday.

It also marks Pak's first visit to Russia in his capacity as foreign minister. He previously served as the North's ambassador to Moscow.

Originally published by Yonhap news agency, Seoul, in English 0252 14 Oct 08.

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