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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kozyrev Wants International Meeting

Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev on Wednesday backed the international pressure for sanctions against North Korea but said they should be an "extreme measure" and adopted hand in hand with an international conference. "We think they (sanctions) should be phased in and regarded as an extreme measure. At the same time we think we should use pressure in the form of an international conference we are proposing," Kozyrev said. During the recent visit to Russia by South Korean President Kim Young-sam, President Boris Yeltsin called for a conference involving both Koreas, Russia, the United States, China, Japan and the IAEA. The idea, however, has met with little enthusiasm in Washington, which is pressing for the swift imposition of sanctions to bring the North Koreans into line. Moscow was North Korea's main ally during the Soviet era. Russia has deported five North Koreans for "showing too much interest in nuclear components," the domestic counter-intelligence service said Wednesday. Itar-Tass quoted the Federal Counterintelligence Service press center as saying the North Koreans were expelled several months ago. It did not say who they were or what precisely they were doing in Russia. The Russian media has carried several reports over the last year of actions by security services against North Koreans involved in nuclear espionage.