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A high-ranking North Korean official with long experience in nuclear talks was due in Moscow on Wednesday for a series of meetings aimed at reviving the stalled six-party process after months of tensions.
Russian officials said North Korea's first vice foreign minister Kim Kye-Gwan would meet on Thursday with First Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov and Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov.
"We will discuss the prospects of launching a new six-party negotiating process," Morgulov told reporters on Tuesday.
"Russia has always firmly insisted that the six-party process has no alternatives," he said. "We will discuss this with our North Korean partners."
Kim has been a key figure in six-party talks aimed at persuading North Korea to abandon its nuclear programme in exchange for aid and security guarantees.
The negotiations began in 2003 but have been long dormant. They also involve the United States, China, South Korea and Japan.
North Korea has vowed never to give up its nuclear power but says it is open to direct talks with the United States. Kim late last month discussed restarting the six-party talks in Beijing with China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi.