North Korean leader Kim Jong-il (right) listens to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev during a meeting at a military garrison, outside Ulan-Ude, on Wednesday. Image Credit: AP

Moscow: North Korea is ready to impose a moratorium on nuclear missile tests if international talks on its nuclear programme resume, a spokesman for Russia's president said on Wednesday after talks between the two leaders.

Russian news agencies, meanwhile, reported that North Korean leader Kim Jong-il said his country is ready to resume talks "without preconditions."

Kim and Russian President Dmitry Medevdev met on Wednesday on a military base near the city of Ulan-Ude in eastern Siberia in Kim's first trip to Russia since 2002.

The six-sided nuclear talks have been long-stalled, but Kim's Russia trip comes as his country pushes to restart them. South Korea and Washington have demanded that the North first show its sincerity on fulfilling past nuclear commitments.

The Korean peninsula has seen more than a year of tension during which the North shelled a South Korean island and allegedly torpedoed a South Korean warship.

Medvedev spokeswoman Natalya Timakova was quoted by the ITAR-Tass news agency as saying that Kim expressed readiness to return to the six-sided talks without preconditions and "in the course of the talks, North Korea will be ready to resolve the question of imposing a moratorium on tests and production of nuclear missile weapons."

Medvedev said Russia and North Korea also moved forward on a proposed project to ship natural gas to South Korea through a pipeline via North Korea.