HO CHI MINH CITY (Sputnik) – Pyongyang should be given iron-clad security guarantees if it agrees to full denuclearisation, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has stated.
“North Korea should be provided security guarantees in case a complete denuclearisation really take place. And those guarantees must be iron-clad”, the minister said at Valdai forum in Vietnam.
Lavrov continued by saying that the six-party format that includes North Korea, the United States, Russia, China, South Korea, and Japan may be revived to address the Korean Peninsula issue provided that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump make progress at the upcoming summit in Hanoi.
“I hope that the six-party mechanism, primarily on issues of peace and security, can be very useful if there is progress in bilateral communication between the United States and North Korea”, Lavrov said in Ho Chi Minh City.
The minister stressed that there had already been some improvements in the North Korean problem and urged the UN Security Council to lift some of its sanctions with regard to inter-Korean projects in order to further facilitate a settlement.
Russia and the United States hold bilateral consultations on the North Korean problem, including about the upcoming summit in Hanoi, the minister added.
The Russian Foreign Minister further elaborated that he was going to discuss progress in the implementation of a Russian-Chinese roadmap on resolving the North Korean issue with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on 26 February.
“As I have already said, we have devised a roadmap with China and at this stage are working to specify each of its steps. I will discuss this tomorrow with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi”, Lavrov said at Valdai forum in Ho Chi Minh City.
Last year, China proposed a so-called double freeze plan that envisaged North Korea ceasing its nuclear activities in exchange for the United States and South Korea halting joint military exercises near the Korean Peninsula.
Russia supported the Chinese initiative and proposed developing a roadmap for the gradual restoration of trust and creation of conditions for the resumption of six-party talks. The United States rejected the roadmap but on 12 June US President Donald Trump met North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore with the parties having achieved agreements that are in line with the Russian-Chinese roadmap.
According to the Singapore agreements, Pyongyang reaffirmed its commitment to the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, while the United States pledged to provide security guarantees.