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(LEAD) Russian FM: Five-party nuclear talks 'not a good idea'

All News 13:45 January 27, 2016

(ATTN: CORRECTS typo in foreign minister's name in first para)

MOSCOW, Jan. 26 (Yonhap) -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday reacted negatively to South Korea's proposal to hold five-party nuclear talks excluding North Korea, saying it's "not a good idea" to try to isolate Pyongyang.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye made the suggestion last Friday, raising questions about the effectiveness of the stalled six-party talks on the North's nuclear program and calling for "creative approaches" to deal with the problem.

"We have heard a proposal from South Korea to gather in the 'six minus one' format but this is not a good idea," Lavrov said at a New Year's news conference. "It will turn out again that we're trying to isolate someone. When attempts were made to isolate Iran, nothing good came out of this. This mistake shouldn't be repeated relative to North Korea."

Resuming the six-party talks is the only way to resolve the issue, he said.

Lavrov also said that the task is "not to ensure that North Korea has no nuclear weapons but to ensure that there are no such weapons on the peninsula at all and the United States should not bring nuclear arsenal elements there."

On Pyongyang's claims of a successful hydrogen bomb test, Lavrov also said that Russia is consulting with the U.S., China, Japan and South Korea on the type of nuclear device that the North detonated in its Jan. 6 nuclear test.

"We're not sure that this was the test of a hydrogen bomb. If this had been so, this would have meant that U.N. Security Council resolutions limiting the delivery of such elements to North Korea are ineffective and that additional materials, without which this bomb can't be created, are getting into North Korea," he said.

But if the test involved a normal nuclear device, this would mean sanctions have had their effect, he added.

"In our contacts with our colleagues, we are now actively studying this aspect of the situation. Politically, the sole way is to resume six-party talks," Lavrov said.

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