South Korea Labels Russia’s Call for Security Talks with North Korea ‘Misleading’

SEOUL - A South Korean ministry official on Friday termed Russia's recent appeal for regular security talks with North Korea and China as "misleading." The comment comes in response to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's statements, which portray South Korea, the United States, and Japan as contributors to increasing tensions in the region.

Yonhap News Agency reported that during his visit to North Korea, Lavrov expressed his country's support for initiating a regular negotiating process on security with Pyongyang and Beijing. He pointed to the "dangerous" policies of Seoul, Washington, and Tokyo, accusing them of escalating regional tensions. Lavrov's remarks were originally reported by Russia's state news agency, TASS.

The South Korean foreign ministry official countered that this portrayal inaccurately shifts the focus from the real issues causing regional tension. "This is a misleading assessment of the cause of tensions on the Korean Peninsula ... and appears aimed at covering up the international community's attention on the illegal military cooperation between Russia and North Korea," said the official.

The official also emphasized that the "fundamental" issue exacerbating tensions is North Korea's ongoing nuclear and missile development. He called on Russia to halt any "illegal military cooperation" with North Korea that violates U.N. Security Council resolutions and threatens regional stability. "Our position remains unchanged that we are open to dialogue without any preconditions for North Korea's denuclearization," he added.

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