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Russia urges for oil aid to DPRK
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11:29, December 14, 2008

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Russia on Saturday rejected a United States proposal to suspend shipment of fuel aid to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) amid stalled denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula.

"The statement by the U.S. State Department made following the six-party talks in Beijing surprised us," RIA Novosti news agency quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Borodavkin as saying, referring to Washington's announcement to put off fuel shipments to the DPRK until Pyongyang accepts the verification protocol of its nuclear facilities.

Russia will carry on delivering fuel to DPRK as part of a denuclearization deal reached in the six-party talks and urges other nations to meet their energy aid commitments, said the top Russian negotiator in the talks that also involve China, the Republic of Korea and Japan.

"We hope that all the parties to the talks will comply with the existing agreements," he said, noting that Moscow hoped Pyongyang would respond by phasing out its Yongbyon nuclear complex.

Russia would ship the third batch of 50,000 metric tons of fuel oil in December, and supply all the 200,000 metric tons in the near future, RIA said.

The six parties ended their third meeting during the sixth round of talks in Beijing on Thursday without substantial progress on how to verify the DPRK nuclear facilities.

Under an agreement reached at the six-party talks in February 2007, the DPRK agreed to abandon all nuclear weapons and programs, and also promised to declare all its nuclear programs and facilities by the end of 2007.

In return, the DPRK would get diplomatic and economic incentives, including its removal from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism.

After its nuclear envoy Christopher Hill paid a three-day visit to Pyongyang in early October and struck a verification deal with the DPRK, the Bush administration dropped the country from the list on Oct. 11.

But the two countries have since disputed over the verification deal.

Washington claims that the inspectors, according to the deal reached with the DPRK, could take samples away from the nuclear facilities, while Pyongyang insists that it never agreed to remove the samples.

Source: Xinhua

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