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24 Apr, 2009 09:46

Russian FM continues mediating effort in S.Korea

North Korea has reiterated its boycott of nuclear negotiations, despite the efforts of the Russian Foreign Minister during his visit to Pyongyang.

Sergey Lavrov has arrived in the South Korean capital, Seoul, for talks with the South Korean leadership.

Although the Russian Foreign Minister said on Thursday an immediate breakthrough in the North Korea nuclear issue is unlikely, he continues his mediating efforts. It is the first time Lavrov is visiting both parts of the Korean peninsula in the wake of a new crisis related to a recent rocket launch by Pyongyang.

The launch – which took place on April 5 – has heightened international fears over North Korea's nuclear capability.

The UN Security Council and International Atomic Energy Agency have called it a military exercise and condemned the move.

In return, Pyongyang expelled the atomic agency's monitors from the country, and withdrew from the six-nation talks on nuclear disarmament.

Even so, Lavrov says he's opposed to the introduction of UN sanctions against the country, and wants to search for alternative ways out of the crisis.

RT’s political commentator Peter Lavelle believes well thought-out and systematic negotiations with Pyongyang are essential.

“We have to find what North Korea wants. They are not going to tell you. As the country is spiraling into destruction – it is a failed state – they're going to want a lot, more than anything else, humanitarian aid. Its economy is in shambles. Why? Because they’re pouring all their money into this ridiculous program,” Lavelle said.

“They want security guarantees, too. I believe strongly in engagement. This regime does not want to collapse. They are rational to this point. They know that if they go so far, the entire international community will turn against them,” he added.