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(LEAD) S. Korea urges CICA to play 'special role' in preventing N. Korea's nuke test

All News 15:39 April 28, 2016

(ATTN: ADDS talks between foreign ministers of S. Korea, Russia in last 3 paras, new photos)

BEIJING, April 28 (Yonhap) -- South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se on Thursday called for members of a regional security conference, led by Russia and China, to play a "special role" in preventing North Korea from conducting another nuclear test.

There have been signs that North Korea may conduct its fifth nuclear test ahead of its rare party congress early next month, in order to build credential for the North Korean leader's twin pursuit of economic development and nuclear weapons.

"The eyes of the world are now on North Korea, whether it will conduct a fifth nuclear test in time for the seventh Party Congress scheduled to begin on the 6th of May," Yun said in his speech at the foreign ministers' meeting of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA).

"In this regard, I hope that CICA will play a special role in blocking advances in North Korea's nuclear weapons capabilities, and in stopping North Korea from conducting another nuclear test," Yun said.

Founded in 1992, the CICA has 26 member states, mostly non-Western countries such as Russia, China, Kazakhstan and Mongolia.

Yun is the first South Korean foreign minister to attend the foreign ministers' meeting of the CICA since South Korea joined the gathering in 2006.

International sanctions against North Korea were tightened in early March after the North's fourth nuclear test and launch of a long-range rocket in February.

Despite tightened sanctions, Yun said, "Pyongyang has blatantly and brazenly announced that it will carry on with more nuclear tests and missile launches. And we are witnessing such belligerent rhetoric being translated into provocative actions."

Citing North Korea's recent claim of a successful launch of a ballistic missile from a submarine and other missile tests, Yun said, "Indeed, no country can match North Korea in being such a persistent and flagrant serial offender in the history of the U.N."

On the sidelines of the CICA gathering on Thursday, Yun held a bilateral meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Yun and Lavrov expressed "grave concerns about the possibility that North Korea may conduct a further provocation ahead of the May party congress," the South Korean Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Lavrov reaffirmed Russia's stance that the U.N. Security Council would swiftly take action if North Korea carries out another provocation, according to the statement.

kdh@yna.co.kr
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