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Russia's chief nuclear envoy on N.Korea to visit Seoul this week

Russia's chief negotiator for the long-stalled talks on North Korea's nuclear weapons program will visit South Korea this week, Seoul's foreign ministry said Sunday, the latest in a flurry of diplomacy aimed at seeking ways to resume the six-party negotiations.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Borodavkin will arrive in Seoul on Friday and hold talks with his South Korean counterpart Wi Sung-lac, the Foreign Ministry said in a brief statement.

After sharply rising tensions last year with two military attacks against South Korea, by torpedoing a warship in March and shelling a border island in November, North Korea has consistently called for a resumption of the six-party talks since early this year.

North Korea quit the talks, which include the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the U.S., in April 2009, and then a month later carried out its second nuclear test. Concerns over the North's nuclear ambitions deepened in November after Pyongyang's revelation of its new uranium enrichment facility.

China has called for resuming the six-party talks at an early date, but South Korea, the U.S. and Japan have said they are not interested in holding talks for talks' sake and Pyongyang must stop provoking Seoul. (Yonhap News)

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