SEOUL, Nov. 23 (Yonhap) -- A senior North Korean diplomat handling denuclearization negotiations with the United States met with Russia's ambassador to Pyongyang, and the two sides agreed on the need to solve "existing problems on the basis of a phased, synchronized approach," the Russian mission said Friday.

During the meeting held on Thursday, the North's Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui and Russian Ambassador Alexander Matsegora "exchanged opinions on the situation on the Korean peninsula in the light of the #DPRK-USA dialogue process," the Russian Embassy said in a Facebook post.

"There was a general view on the necessity of solving the existing problems on the basis of a phased, synchronized approach," it said, adding that the meeting was held in a "friendly and open atmosphere."

Also in attendance was Anton Khlopkov, director of the Russian Center for Energy and Security Studies, the embassy said. Khlopkov was in Pyongyang for a three-day visit from Tuesday.

The meeting came as denuclearization negotiations between the North and the U.S. have been stalled. Washington wants Pyongyang to take more denuclearization measures, while the North wants a reward from the U.S. for the steps it has taken so far, such as blowing up its nuclear testing site.

Russia has called for relaxing sanctions on the North.

Source: Yonhap News Agency