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Russia: Talks With Korean Officials Begin In Moscow

Moscow, 13 August 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Russian officials have today opened separate talks with North Korean and South Korean delegates in Moscow. The meetings come in preparation for the six-country talks on North Korea's nuclear program scheduled for later this month in Beijing. The talks will bring together the two Koreas, Russia, the United States, Japan, and China.

The ITAR-TASS news agency quotes Deputy Foreign Minister Aleksandr Losyukov as saying Russia hopes to learn what ideas North Korea and South Korea will put forward during the multilateral talks.

Later today in Washington, U.S. officials are scheduled to open two days of talks with Japanese and South Korean representatives in preparation for the Beijing conference, which is aimed at addressing the tensions over North Korea's alleged pursuit of nuclear weapons in violation of international agreements.

North Korea's Foreign Ministry today reiterated that a nonaggression treaty from the U.S. is necessary to resolve the crisis.