SEOUL, May 19 (Yonhap) -- The chief nuclear envoys of South Korea and Russia held phone talks Thursday to discuss the security situation on the Korean Peninsula following North Korea's COVID-19 outbreak and missile tests, Seoul's foreign ministry said.
During the introductory talks, Kim Gunn, special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs who took office last week, and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov, shared assessments of Pyongyang's recent missile tests and the coronavirus pandemic in the reclusive state.
Kim called for Russia to play a "constructive role" in having Pyongyang refrain from taking further escalating actions, amid speculation over the possibility of the recalcitrant regime carrying out a major weapons test despite its antivirus efforts.
Seoul and Washington have warned that the North has made preparations for a long-range missile or a nuclear test around U.S. President Joe Biden's trip to South Korea and Japan from May 20-24.
High-level consultations between South Korea and Russia have been hampered by Seoul's joining of international sanctions against Moscow following its invasion of Ukraine, but their top nuclear envoys have remained in contact to discuss issues related to North Korea.
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