Russia's foreign minister says that North Korea is ready to resume international talks on its nuclear program.

Sergey Lavrov spoke Thursday after meeting with Choe Ryong Hae, a special envoy of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Choe met with Russian President Vladimir Putin Earlier this week to deliver a letter from Kim.

Lavrov said Kim's letter confirmed a desire to expand bilateral ties and "cooperate on settling the problems that still remain on the Korean Peninsula." He said Pyongyang is ready to restart the six-way nuclear talks without preconditions on the basis of a joint statement issued in 2005. The talks were halted in 2009.

Lavrov said Pyongyang is also ready to consider a Russian project of building a gas pipeline to South Korea via its territory.