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Russia blasts N. Korea’s shelling of Yeonpyeong Island

Posted December. 15, 2010 11:03,   


The Russian Foreign Ministry again blasted North Korea Tuesday for its Nov. 23 shelling of South Korea’s Yeonpyeong Island.

Moscow, however, also expressed "concern" over a massive military drill among South Korea, the U.S. and Japan being conducted near the Korean Peninsula.

After a meeting between North Korean Foreign Minister Pak Ui Chun and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying, “We are concerned over the escalating military and political tension on the Korean Peninsula due to a series of massive military drills. We confirm that the shelling of South Korean territory that resulted in human casualties deserves criticism.”

Moscow, however, failed to specifically mention who conducted the drills or launched the artillery attack.

In an unprecedented move, Lavrov held a news conference on the day of the shelling to criticize the North’s provocation. He had also blasted Pyongyang at a Nov. 25 news conference, saying, “(South Korea’s) firing drill is a separate matter from (North Korea’s) shelling of land where civilians reside.”

Monday’s statement reaffirmed Moscow’s stance, and drew attention since the Russian Foreign Ministry lambasted Pyongyang shortly after a meeting with the North Korean Foreign Ministry.

In addition, the statement said Lavrov expressed fears over the news that the North established a facility to enrich uranium for industrial purposes in Yongbyon. He said Pyongyang must respect U.N. Security Council resolutions 1718 and 1874.

Adopted after the North conducted its first nuclear test in 2006 and its second last year, the two resolutions criticize the nuclear tests, urge a halt to the tests, and mention sanctions on the North.

Russia also stressed the need to resume the six-party disarmament talks to resolve the North`s nuclear program. “(The meeting) paid considerable attention to the possibility of the resumption of the talks to mediate the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula.”

"Russia cited the need to create an atmosphere to resume the six-party talks based on the unconditional observance of obligations presented by a joint statement agreed on by participants of the six-party talks."