Russia’s Lavrov arrives in Singapore for ASEAN, N.Korea meetings

By RIA Novosti,

Moscow : Russia’s foreign minister has arrived in Singapore on a two-day visit, to participate in meetings at an annual forum of southeast Asian nations, and for six-nation talks on the North Korean nuclear problem.

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The meeting between foreign ministers of the countries negotiating North Korea’s nuclear disarmament will take place on Wednesday or Thursday on the sidelines of the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) forum.

Sergei Lavrov will attend a Russia-ASEAN session, and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), which brings together the 10 ASEAN member states plus 17 other countries, including all six parties to the talks on North Korea’s nuclear disarmament.

The six countries involved in the talks – Russia, the United States, China, Japan and the two Koreas – have never yet sent their top diplomats to the negotiations, which have been running since 2003.

The latest round of talks on North Korea was held on July 10-12 in Beijing. The negotiations were given a boost by North Korea’s agreement to scrap its nuclear reactors by the end of October, and to allow foreign experts to visit facilities to verify information released by the communist state on its past nuclear