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Interview with Vladimir Rakhmanin

A new round of six-party talks on North Korea’s nuclear programme has begun in Beijing. The Russian Ambassador at Large, Vladimir Rakhmanin, spoke to RT about what the negotiations hope to achieve.

Russia Today: What will be the main issue on the agenda this time?

Vladimir Rakhmanin: Actually we are getting together at quite a favourable time.  Back in July North Korea finished sealing and shutting down the Yongbyon nuclear facility. It is a very big step forward. In exchange for that South Korea donated 50,000 tons of heavy fuel oil, and began an assistance programme to North Korea. We have meetings of all five working groups that are operating within the six-party process. So a lot of things are being done and a positive and constructive approach is prevailing right now.  We are planning to talk about the next phase of denuclearisation.  That means a declaration by North Korea of all its nuclear programmes and the shutting down of those facilities.

RT: We are looking at six countries participating. How is Russia contributing to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue?

V.R.: It is actually a very important framework that we are working within. It is six parties sitting equally together and discussing these issues. It is all six of us who are trying to find a solution that might be favourable and which might be good for everyone. Russia is a full member and our experience is very much in demand.

RT: The North Korean nuclear programme is of great concern to the international community and a lot has been done. But isn’t the ability to deliver those nuclear weapons they are talking about also a worry.  like some analysts say there might not even be warheads inside those missiles?

V.R.: Actually, the question of a nuclear Korean peninsula is of great concern not only for regional powers, but for global powers in general. Because we are talking here about nuclear proliferation, which we do not want to take place. We are talking here about the security environment in the region which is now the engine of economic development in the world. We need stability here and Russia, located and situated in this area, is very much interested in the prosperity and the stability of the region.