Sunday, June 30, 2019

Putin Reiterates That North Korea Requires Security Guarantees
Leo Byrne 
North Korea
June 28th, 2019

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday told his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in that North Korea would give up its nuclear program in exchange for security guarantees.

The news comes via South Korean Blue House statements of the meeting between the two leaders at the G20 Summit in Osaka which kicked off earlier in the day.

North Korea was one of the more significant issues on the agenda, with Putin recently meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in April in the Russian Far East.

“We could discuss … the developments in the region as a whole and on the Korean Peninsula, especially because, as you know, I recently met with the leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,” Putin said at the start of his meeting with Moon, according to a readout from the Kremlin.

“I would like to share my impressions from that meeting with you and speak about the situation in general.”

During the meeting, Puting told Moon that North Korea required “firm” guarantees before it would consider giving up its nuclear weapons.

“Vladimir Putin told President Moon that the North’s leader would abandon his regime’s nuclear program but as long as (the international community and the United States) firm guarantee the security of his regime and there are actual concessions for denuclearization,” Blue House vice spokesperson Han Jeong-woo said, in comments carried by the Korea Times.

Putin’s comments to Moon are similar to those he made following his summit with the North Korean leader, with Putin telling reporters at the time that security was one of Kim’s primary concerns.

“First and foremost, (Kim) wants to ensure his national interest and ensure his country’s security, but only if the partners of North Korea – primarily the United States – are ready to engage in constructive dialogue,” Putin said in April after his meeting with Kim.

“There’s no other way. You have to have a dialogue, I think there is no other way.”

Also on Friday, Washington signaled that it was ready to re-enter talks with North Korea, even as Pyongyang’s statements via its state-run media seemingly remain truculent.

Washington’s Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun told his South Korean counterpart Lee Do-hoon that the U.S. was ready to  “ready to hold constructive discussions with North Korea” and make “simultaneous and in parallel.”

Biegun’s comments echoed earlier remarks made in Washington when he struck a positive tone on negotiations with North Korea, saying he hoped they would be back on track in the future.

Following the Friday meeting, Lee was reported to have said he believed a “positive atmosphere” for diplomacy had been created following an exchange of letters between the North Korean and the U.S. leaders and a recent Sino-DPRK summit in Pyongyang.

Featured image: The Kremlin

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