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Top diplomats of S. Korea, Russia hold talks on N. Korea, bilateral ties

Diplomacy 23:28 June 17, 2019

SEOUL, June 17 (Yonhap) -- The foreign ministers of South Korea and Russia held talks in Moscow on Monday over issues related to North Korea and bilateral relations, officials said.

During the meeting, foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and her Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, shared their assessments of the recent situation on the peninsula and discussed ways to boost cooperation for the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and lasting peace, according to the officials.

"We agreed that now is a very critical time to move the peace process forward without a hitch," Kang told media after the meeting.

Stressing the need for the swift resumption of dialogue between the U.S. and North Korea, the minister also said she sought Russia's efforts for that during her meeting with Lavrov.

South Korea has been striving to deepen diplomacy with neighboring countries to create fresh momentum for its drive to induce North Korea's denuclearization and foster a lasting peace on the peninsula.

Seoul's peace initiative is feared to lose traction, as nuclear talks between Washington and Pyongyang have been stalled since the no-deal summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Hanoi in February.

Noting that Russia has paid "special attention" to the situation on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia, the Russian foreign minister called for "peaceful and diplomatic resolutions."

He also asked for South Korea's attention to a road map Russia and China co-presented in 2017 to resolve North Korean issues and called for Seoul's participation in its efforts to further elaborate on the plan for its practical implementation.

Also on the table was how to boost bilateral cooperation ahead of the 30th anniversary next year of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic ties, according to the officials.

The two nations agreed to push for the signing of a free trade deal in service sectors and the expansion of cooperation to create future growth engines, with a focus on next-generation technologies including information and communication technology, they added.

Kang was set to leave Moscow on Monday, wrapping up her two-day trip there.

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha (L) walks with her Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, ahead of their talks in Moscow, Russia, on June 17, 2019. (Yonhap)

graceoh@yna.co.kr
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