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Putin calls for multilateral security guarantee for N. Korea

VLADIVOSTOK -- Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday stressed the need for an "international" security guarantee for North Korea as part of efforts to denuclearize and bring lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Putin also said that multilateral talks on the North's denuclearization, including long-stalled six-party dialogue, will need to resume at a stage that calls for the development of the multilateral guarantee for the North.


He made the remarks after his first summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Russia's Far Eastern city of Vladivostok, where Pyongyang's decadeslong nuclear quandary topped the agenda.

"I'm not sure these (six-party) talks need to be resumed right now but I am confident that if we reach a stage where we will need to develop some kind of guarantees for one of the parties, primarily, security guarantees for North Korea, international guarantees will be necessary," Putin was quoted by Russian news agency TASS as saying.

Putin added, "Agreements between two countries will hardly be enough but at the end of the day, it is up to North Korea to decide because it is the country this issue concerns the most."

The Russian president also said that the six-party talks will prove "helpful in developing a system of international security guarantees" for the North.

The six-way dialogue apparatus, involving the two Koreas, the US, China, Russia and Japan, has been stalled since late 2008.

Before the summit, experts anticipated that Moscow might seek to enhance diplomatic leverage over Korea peace efforts and reiterate its preference for a multilateral dialogue approach to discuss Pyongyang's nuclear quandary.

Putin also called for three-way economic cooperation between the two Koreas and Russia.

"All this is possible," he said. "If these projects and similar ones were implemented, this would create the necessary conditions for building the trust that is so necessary for solving the key issues." (Yonhap)