Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Wednesday favors nonnuclear status for the Korean Peninsula . He said Russia, however, would want to ensure the security of all countries in the region, especially North Korea.
Lavrov held a closed-door meeting with North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong, saying he appreciated the opportunity to “compare notes” on issues of Russian cooperation. The meeting was held on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
“Our aim remains to ensure its [the Korean Peninsula's] nonnuclear status through an agreement acceptable for all,” Tass quoted Lavrov as saying. “We want the security of all countries in the region and, of course, of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea [DPRK] to be fully ensured, so that DPRK’s legitimate interests are respected by everyone without exception.”
According to a report by Al Jazeera, Russia has the largest nuclear arsenal with around 7,500 warheads. With around 7,100 warheads, the United States comes in second. Other nuclear countries include France (300), China (260), the Great Britain (225), Pakistan (120) and India (110).
Lavrov was in Malaysia to attend the 48th meeting of ASEAN, which includes Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, Brunei and the Philippines.
Lavrov said that he would discuss humanitarian ties between Russia and North Korea during his visit, Sputnik News reported. The Russian foreign minister also met with Yung Byung-se, his South Korean counterpart.
Lavrov already has held meetings with his Turkish and Indonesian counterparts and has other meetings on his agenda, including with Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.