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Russian Upper House Chief Meets Heads of Delegations From Two Koreas

Valentina Matviyenko (file photo)
Valentina Matviyenko (file photo)

The speaker of the Russian parliament's upper chamber has held separate talks with the heads of North Korean and South Korean delegations to an international parliamentary meeting.

Amid tensions over North Korean nuclear and missile tests that have violated UN Security Council resolutions, Federation Council chief Valentina Matviyenko held the meetings on the sidelines on the Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly in St. Petersburg on October 16.

The chairman of the International Relations Committee in the chamber, Konstantin Kosachyov, said Matviyenko told the speaker of the South Korean National Assembly, Chung Sye-kyun, that curtailing military activities off the Korean Peninsula's coast could help bring Pyongyang closer to compliance with restrictions on its activities.

Matviyenko said that Moscow "strongly condemns North Korea for developing its nuclear arms program and testing weapons, and we -- just like the entire international community -- urge it to strictly comply with relevant UN Security Council resolutions."

Meeting with Chung, she said recent exchanges of strong words between Washington and Pyongyang were "very dangerous."

The remarks were in line with previous statements by President Vladimir Putin and other Russia officials, who frequently accuse the United States and South Korea of provoking the North.

Matviyenko also met with North Korean Supreme People's Assembly Deputy Chairman An Tong Chun.

An handed her a statement from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that said that "the history of our two nations is a history of friendship," Russian news agencies reported.

Based on reporting by Interfax, RIA Novosti, and TASS

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