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Moscow is backing North Korea in the six-party nuclear talks and recently raised the issue of continuing construction of a light water nuclear reactor for Pyongyang, U.S. officials said, according to Geostrategy-Direct, the global intelligence news service.

The issue of the reactor construction was discussed during the recent round of six-part talks in Beijing that ended in mid-May.

Russia’s role in raising the reactor issue, which the United States opposes, is a sign of collusion between Moscow and Pyongyang at the talks, U.S. officials said.

The U.S. told the North Koreans that the reactor construction, which was suspended in December, could be resumed if Pyongyang first agrees to a complete dismantlement of its nuclear programs and a return to international nuclear monitoring and inspections.

Moscow last week called for providing North Korea with “security guarantees” and economic aid as a way to resolve the nuclear issue.

“Giving proper security guarantees and extending economic and humanitarian assistance to North Korea would contribute decisively to ensuring stability in the peninsula and the security of countries situated there,” said Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Yakovenko.

“Russia wants to see better relations between the North and the South and it takes into account the special role of the inter-Korean dialogue,” he said.

Russia “together with China is ready to extend additional security guarantees to North Korea,” a source in the Russian Foreign Ministry told ITAR-TASS.

“If Washington’s guarantees on which South Korea insists fail to satisfy it fully, Russia and China could extend additional guarantees. Moscow has repeatedly stated this, our proposals remain in force and no one has repealed them,” the diplomat said.

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