Russian foreign minister says North Korea ready to restart nuclear talks

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.