Corrected: Russia says ready to exert influence on North Korea - Ifax

Saul Bowman
December 9, 2017

"From North Korea's perspective, a country that has declared the completion of its nuclear weapons power, the dialogue was a great opportunity for their position to be presented to the global community", said Kim Yong-hyun, a professor of North Korean studies at Dongguk University in Seoul.

The comments were carried by the official Korean Central News Agency late Wednesday, hours after the United States flew a B-1B supersonic bomber over South Korea as part of a massive combined aerial exercise involving hundreds of warplanes.

The UN Undersecretary General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, on Saturday concluded his five-day visit to North Korea, during which both parties agreed to remain in regular contact.

Feltman was a leading official in the U.S. State Department from 2009-12, before moving to the UN. The North recently launched its most advanced missile to date and the US and South Korea are now holding joint exercises with some of the world's most powerful fighter aircraft.

Kosachev added that there is no alternative to the Russian-Chinese settlement plan for the North Korean situation.

Japan's Kyodo News said the North Korean foreign minister welcomed the United Nations official's visit to Pyongyang. But US State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert expressed a somewhat different perspective during the daily press briefing on December 7.

Morgulov was also quoted as saying that North Korea was seeking a direct dialogue with the United States on its nuclear program, while it was not in need of security guarantees either from China or Russian Federation.

Feltman's visit began just a week after North Korea launched its most sophisticated intercontinental ballistic missile to date, an action that may lead to new sanctions by the Security Council.

"We have channels, through which we are conducting a dialogue, and we are ready to deploy them, we are ready to exert our influence on North Korea", Morgulov was quoted as saying at a conference in Berlin.

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