Lavrov, Kerry discussed North Korean nuclear test

Russia Foreign Minister Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry are planning to meet soon, the Russian minister said on Monday.

"We came to an agreement that we'll try to cross paths some time very soon," Lavrov told reporters in Brussels in commenting on a phone conversation between him and Kerry.

Lavrov said he had raised the issue of a recent North Korean nuclear test during the conversation.

"It was important for me to find out what the Americans thought about North Korea, and so when my counterpart was about to say goodbye after discussing the subject of Syria and raising no other subject, I said that it was also important to remain in contact on the problem, on the problem of the Korean Peninsula, in connection with the nuclear explosion that had been carried out by North Korea, and it was at my initiative that we discussed that issue," Lavrov said.

"So, when I was reading speculation about why we hadn't been able to talk immediately, and all our esteemed experts were drawing the conclusion in various newspapers and magazines that Russia was vacillating and didn't know what position to take, and so Lavrov was evading talking to Kerry, it's just ridiculous," he said.

He cited a Russian Foreign Ministry statement issued immediately after the test that condemned it as gross violation of a UN Security Council resolution, warned that there would be consequences for Pyongyang, but insisted on avoiding any military action in retaliation for the explosion.

"It spoke on the impermissibility of any kind of military scenario, and said that the resumption of six-party negotiations would be the only reasonable route to go after we take all appropriate measures in response to the unacceptable conduct of North Korea," he said.

He reiterated that the purpose of the six-party talks is the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula with security guarantees provided for all states in the region, including North Korea.

"Russia and other negotiators stand ready to provide such guarantees, and we will be ready to work for their enshrinement in a decision by the UN Security Council," he said.

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