North Korean nuclear problem can be resolved through military-political detente - Russian FM

The provision of lasting security guarantees in Northeast Asia will make North Korea's possession of weapons of mass destruction unnecessary, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov has said.

The provision of lasting security guarantees in Northeast Asia will make North Korea's possession of weapons of mass destruction unnecessary, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov has said.

"To our mind, security fears were the reason for the 'nuclear choice' the North Korean administration made in the early 1990s," Morgulov said in an interview with the South Korean Yonhap news agency published on the Russian Foreign Ministry website on Sunday.

"Proceeding from this view of the problem, we believe that it can really be resolved in the context of the general military-political detente in Northeast Asia, which implies lasting security guarantees for all regional states, including North Korea," Morgulov said.

This will make Pyongyang's possession of weapons of mass destruction unnecessary, he said. "We are confident that this model will not just correctly reflect regional realities but will also fully comply with international efforts towards strengthening the nuclear non-proliferation regime. We will continue to explain our approach to the other parties to the six-nation [negotiating] process," the Russian deputy foreign minister said.

"We categorically reject the recognition of the de facto nuclear status of North Korea, which is incompatible with the status of Russia as an architect and depositary of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty," the diplomat said.

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