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Putin, Abe call for quickest restart of talks on Korean settlement

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Thursday they were concerned over the deteriorating situation on the Korean Peninsula and called for the quickest restart of six-party negotiations.

"The situation on the Korean Peninsula was discussed separately [at the Russian-Japanese talks] as in our joint opinion with the prime minister [of Japan] it has, unfortunately, deteriorated seriously," the head of the Russian state told journalists after the talks with Shinzo Abe.

"We are urging all the states involved in regional affairs to refrain from military rhetoric and seek a calm and constructive dialogue," Putin said.

"We see the quickest restart of six-party negotiations as a common task," the Russian leader said.

Tokyo and Moscow demand that North Korea comply with the United Nations Security Council's resolutions banning it from developing nuclear weapons, Abe said.

"President Putin and I have agreed that Japan and Russia will cooperate and call on North Korea to fully comply with the United Nations Security Council's resolutions and refrain from further provocations," he said.

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula began to grow in early 2016 when North Korea conducted a nuclear test and after that launched a ballistic missile carrying a satellite. In September 2016, Pyongyang carried out another nuclear test, while more than 20 missiles were test-fired during the year. In 2017, Pyongyang has been continuing missile tests.

The UN Security Council's resolutions ban North Korea from any activities related to the development of nuclear weapons and their means of delivery. However, North Korea does not recognize these documents saying that the country has the right to strengthen its defense capability in light of Washington's hostile policy.

On April 20, the United Nations Security Council condemned a new missile launch, which had ended in a failure as the missile exploded almost immediately, and once again said that new sanctions could be imposed on Pyongyang.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 27Apr17]

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