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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

South Korean President Arrives for Nuclear Talks

South Korean President Kim Young-sam arrived in Moscow on Wednesday for a visit expected to focus on enlisting Russian support in resolving the North Korean nuclear crisis. "Developing closer ties with Russia assumes added significance given the current urgency to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue," Kim said before leaving Seoul, speaking at an airport ceremony packed with government and political leaders. Kim is due to meet President Boris Yeltsin and other top Russian officials. The sides plan to sign a declaration stating their "constructive partnership" and other agreements. The Russians will also give Kim archive documents pertaining to the 1950-1953 Korean war. Kim is expected to visit the former Soviet republic of Uzbekistan and the Russian Far East. His trip comes amid escalating tension over North Korea's removal of spent fuel rods from a nuclear reactor. The UN Security Council adopted a non-binding statement urging North Korea to refrain from refueling in a way that would destroy evidence of whether nuclear material had been diverted, possibly for weapons. The statement did not mention sanctions, but the United States and its Western allies have said punitive steps are likely if North Korea continues to balk at cooperating with inspectors. Other pressing issues include settlement of loans South Korea made to the former Soviet Union. South Korea has provided only $1.47 billion in cash and goods out of a promised $3 billion, after Russia failed to pay interest.