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Duma Leader: North Korea Is Ready To Negotiate with U.S., with Russia as the Third Party

Dec. 1, 2017 (EIRNS)—According to Vitaly Pashin of the State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s bicameral Federal Assembly, "North Korea is currently ready to conduct negotiations with the U.S. with the participation of Russia as a third party," Pashin told TASS, commenting on the results of the talks between the Russian parliamentary delegation and the North Korean leadership in Pyongyang, Nov. 27-Dec. 1.

Addressing the issue of why North Korea is continuing its missile tests, Pashin said,

"According to North Korean representatives, they were forced to demonstrate the ability to adequately respond to any aggression from the U.S., the ability to strike at any territory of America. This is the first missile launch since the last one carried out by North Korea on Sept. 15. Since then, Pyongyang had refrained from military provocations for 75 days awaiting reciprocal steps from the U.S., which, instead of meeting [North Korea] halfway, announced large-scale surprise military drills."

Pashin said,

"We are against the escalation of the conflict and for a peaceful resolution of the issue through negotiations. That said, I fully support the position of our president and the Foreign Ministry on the issue."

Pashin was a member of a delegation of Russian lawmakers led by its coordinator, Kazbek Taisayev, whick visited Pyongyang at the invitation of the North Korean parliament.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang today said that China has called for a global effort to solve the crisis on the Korean Peninsula.

"China and Russia have a common stance on the Korean Peninsula issue, maintaining contact with each other. Both countries have come up with initiatives to resolve the issue peacefully, putting forward clear and understandable projects, which may help find a way out of the current situation. We hope that all the interested parties will adopt a sincere and positive attitude, pooling their efforts to ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula in order to return to the negotiating table as soon as possible."

Geng also said that North Korea, "fully understands the importance of initiatives aimed at de-escalating the conflict, which were proposed by China and Russia."