Senior South and North Korean foreign ministry officials are visiting Russia almost simultaneously this week to persuade Moscow of their point of view about the North's artillery attack on Yeonpyeong Island and its uranium program.
South Korea's chief nuclear negotiator Wi Sung-lac is to meet Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Borodavkin on Wednesday, while North Korean Foreign Minister Pak Ui-chun holds held talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on Monday.
Russian officials did not directly blame the North for the torpedo attack on the South Korean Navy corvette Cheonan in March, but Lavrov himself strongly denounced the North for the shelling of Yeonpyeong.
However, Russia, a participating nation of the six-party nuclear talks, believes China's proposal for a meeting of chief negotiators in the talks should be discussed, whereas South Korea, the U.S. and Japan have rejected the idea.
A South Korean Foreign Ministry official said, "Russia too is concerned about the North's recent disclosure of a uranium enrichment facility, so we'll explain to Russian officials that Seoul, Washington and Tokyo demand the North stop uranium enrichment and ask Russia to join us."
Russia, like China, is a permanent UN Security Council member.
The North's Pak reportedly asked Lavrov for Russia's support and relayed the regime's claim that the shelling of Yeonpyeong was a response to a "preemptive strike" by the South.
Lavrov visited Pyongyang in April last year. Wi has no plan to meet Pak in Moscow, a Foreign Ministry official said.