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Russia's Lavrov says N. Korea talks unlikely to restart soon


PYONGYANG, April 23 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is not expecting the resumption of six-nation negotiations on Pyongyang's nuclear program, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday after talks with his North Korean counterpart. "We are not expecting a breakthrough yet. This is a complicated issue, and we should not give way to emotions, instead we should concentrate on what we have already achieved," said Lavrov, who is the first top diplomat to visit the reclusive communist state since the nuclear row broke out.

North Korea withdrew from the six-nation talks on the disablement of its nuclear program after the UN Security Council condemned the launch of rocket carrying a "communications satellite." Pyongyang also expelled IAEA nuclear inspectors and pledged to resume its work at the Yongbyon reactor.

Russia's top diplomat urged all parties to honor earlier agreements: "If everybody takes such a stand, we will be able to get through the crisis," Lavrov said.

The six-nation talks, involving North and South Korea, Russia, Japan, China and the United States, were launched in 2003 after Pyongyang withdrew from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

Lavrov said he discussed all aspects of bilateral relations between Russia and North Korea with Pak Ui Chun. He said work on the modernization of the Khasan-Rason railroad along the two countries' border, which is part of a project to link Korean rail routes to Russia's Trans-Siberian railway, had already started.

Lavrov is due to travel to South Korea on Friday for a two-day visit.

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