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Russia, U.S. against pressure on N.Korea over nuclear program


MOSCOW, May 13 (RIA Novosti) - Both Russia and the United States are against applying pressure on North Korea as a means of settling the dispute surrounding the country's nuclear program, a Russian diplomat said on Wednesday.

Russian ambassador-at-large Grigory Logvinov, representing Moscow at the six-nation talks on North Korea's nuclear program, and the U.S. special envoy for the talks, Sung Kim, met in Moscow to discuss Pyongyang's recent withdrawal from the talks.

"We share the same approach - to search for diplomatic solutions, without applying any pressure, and this approach enjoys support from both the Republicans and the Democrats in the United States," Logvinov said.

"What's important is that everybody is willing to continue the talks. We need to preserve what has been gained since 2005," he added.

During the two-hour meeting, Logvinov and Sung Kim discussed in detail various aspects of the current situation, and means of resuming the talks involving North and South Korea, Russia, Japan, China and the United States.

The six-nation talks were launched in 2003 after Pyongyang withdrew from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

Under deals reached in 2007, the North began disabling a nuclear reactor and other facilities at Yongbyon under U.S. supervision in exchange for economic aid and political incentives.

However, in December last year, a round of six-nation talks ended in deadlock over a U.S. demand that nuclear inspectors be allowed to take samples out of the country from North Korean facilities for further analysis.

The reclusive communist regime recently announced it was resuming work at its Yongbyon nuclear facility, which produces weapons-grade plutonium, and withdrawing from six-nation talks after the UN Security Council condemned a rocket launch on April 5, which Pyongyang said was carrying a communications satellite.

North Korea also said it would conduct further nuclear tests and rocket launches to ensure its security and defense capability.

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