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Russia Says North Korea Must Stop Nuclear Missile Program

Feb. 12 (Bloomberg) -- North Korea must abandon its nuclear program and restart talks with the international community after conducting another nuclear test, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

The nation’s third nuclear test should not be used to justify more military activity on the Korean Peninsula, Lavrov told reporters today in Pretoria, the capital of South Africa. The Korean Central News Agency reported that the underground test “of a smaller and light A-bomb” was successful.

North Korea “should stop its nuclear missile program because it is violating the non-proliferation treaty,” Lavrov said. “I really hope that this step from Pyongyang won’t be used as a pretext to expand military activity on the peninsula.”

South Korea, the U.S., China and Japan condemned the test, which came three weeks after the United Nations tightened sanctions. The so-called six-nation talks involving those nations and Russia to deal with tensions on the Korean peninsula haven’t been held since December 2008.

North Korea has enough plutonium to produce six to 18 nuclear weapons, according to the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security.

To contact the reporter on this story: Franz Wild in Johannesburg at fwild@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nasreen Seria at nseria@bloomberg.net

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