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(2nd LD) Russia 'carefully analyzing' S. Korea's suspension of trilateral project with N. Korea

All News 23:00 March 09, 2016

(ATTN: UPDATES with reaction of Russia's state-run rail company)

SEOUL, March 9 (Yonhap) -- Russia is "carefully analyzing" South Korea's recent decision to halt a trilateral project involving North Korea, the Russian Embassy here said Wednesday, commenting on Seoul's new sanctions on Pyongyang.

On Tuesday, Seoul slapped toughened sanctions on Pyongyang over its Jan. 6 nuclear test and Feb. 7 long-range rocket launch. Among the measures is a ban on vessels entering South Korean waters within six months of visiting the North.

The Rajin-Khasan project, which aims to bring Russian coal to the South through the North Korean port city of Rajin, falls under that category.

"The Russian Embassy in South Korea is carefully analyzing information on the South Korean government's decision to suspend the Rajin-Khasan project and is refraining from making relevant comments," the embassy's press office said in response to Yonhap News Agency's request for Russia's stance.

In Moscow, Russia's state-run rail company Russian Railways, which is involved in the project, said it has decided not to make any comment on South Korea's decision.

Seoul informed Moscow of the suspension on Monday, a day before the sanctions were announced, according to diplomatic sources.

Russia, a veto-wielding permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, endorsed the council's new resolution punishing North Korea for its nuclear and missile programs, but it has expressed opposition to imposing unilateral sanctions on the country.

The logistics project was one of few exceptions to South Korea's existing sanctions on the North and a key part of President Park Geun-hye's Eurasia Initiative, which calls for linking energy and logistics infrastructure across Asia and Europe.


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