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Russia to hold talks with N. Korea about ending its nuclear program

By Greg Botelho, CNN
July 1, 2013 -- Updated 1722 GMT (0122 HKT)
This undated photo, released Tuesday, October 14, by the state-run Korean Central News Agency, shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspecting a housing complex in Pyongyang, North Korea. International speculation about Kim went into overdrive after he failed to attend events on Friday, October 10, the 65th anniversary of the Workers' Party. He hadn't been seen in public since he reportedly attended a concert with his wife on September 3. This undated photo, released Tuesday, October 14, by the state-run Korean Central News Agency, shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspecting a housing complex in Pyongyang, North Korea. International speculation about Kim went into overdrive after he failed to attend events on Friday, October 10, the 65th anniversary of the Workers' Party. He hadn't been seen in public since he reportedly attended a concert with his wife on September 3.
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Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A top North Korean official will meet with Russian officials on Thursday in Moscow
  • They'll discuss halting Pyongyang's nuclear program, a Russia ministry says
  • Meeting is "part of efforts to resume the six-party talks," according to that report

(CNN) -- North Korea's chief nuclear negotiator will meet senior Russian officials next week to discuss ending the embattled nation's nuclear program, Russia's foreign ministry said.

The talks involving Kim Kye Gwan, North Korea's first deputy foreign minister, and Russian deputy foreign ministers Vladimir Titov and Igor Morgulov will take place Thursday, the ministry said in a statement, according to Russia's RIA Novosti news agency.

The meeting is "part of efforts to resume the six-party talks" related to North Korea's controversial nuclear program, according to Russia's foreign ministry.

Those talks involving officials from North Korea, South Korea, China, Japan, the United States and Russia have been at a virtual standstill since last decade.

Tensions in and around the Korean Peninsula escalated even further in the past year, particularly after Pyongyang launched a long-range rocket, then conducted an underground nuclear test two months later.

North Korea, China want to resume nuclear talks

The international community widely criticized the moves, threatening yet more sanctions and punitive measures. And yet North Korea remained defiant -- even threatening to attack South Korea and the United States.

But things have taken a turn in recent weeks. Earlier this month, North Korea proposed high-level talks with the United States to "ease tensions in the Korean Peninsula," its state news agency reported.

More recently, while Kim was in Beijing for bilateral talks, the North Korea official and China's Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesu both issued statements calling for the resumption of talks to "peacefully solve nuclear issues through dialogue" with all relevant parties.

Obama calls for reducing U.S., Russian nukes

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