Russia hopes to continue efforts at establishing a peace mechanism in Northeast Asia, a senior Russian diplomat said here Sunday before a new round of nuclear talks on the Korean Peninsula.
"Russia hopes for continuing work on forming foundations of a mechanism of peace and security in the region...This question is on the agenda of the coming meeting," Ambassador-at-Large Grigory Logonov was quoted by Itar-Tass news agency as saying.
Chief negotiators from China, the United States, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Russia, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) will gather in Beijing on Monday to launch a new round of six-party talks.
The six countries have agreed in previous talks to set up a working group, along with other ones on bilateral ties or nuclear and economic issues, on the establishment of a mechanism of peace in Northeast Asia.
"The process of denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula continues...Delegation heads intend to look above all at how things stand with implementing earlier agreed actions and steps as well as map out plans for the future," said Logonov.
The DPRK agreed in 2007 in talks with the other five countries to disable its Yongbyon nuclear facility in exchange for economic aid and political concessions, including removing it from Washington's list of countries supporting terrorism.
But the accord was stalled by disputes over the verification of Pyongyang's nuclear declaration and the DPRK stopped disabling its nuclear facilities in August in retaliation for Washington's failure to remove it from the list.
The Bush administration dropped the DPRK from the list on Oct. 11 after the two countries cut a deal on verification during a three-day visit to Pyongyang by chief U.S. negotiator Christopher Hill in early October.