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(LEAD) Vice FM holds talks with top envoys from India, Russia

All News 18:51 October 12, 2020

(ATTN: RECASTS headline, lead; UPDATES throughout with Choi's meeting with Russian envoy; ADDS 2nd photo)

SEOUL, Oct. 12 (Yonhap) -- First Vice Foreign Minister Choi Jong-kun met with ambassadors to South Korea from India and Russia on Monday for talks on improving bilateral ties and other issues, the foreign ministry said.

During the talks with India's top envoy to Seoul, Sripriya Ranganathan, the two agreed to continue efforts to deepen bilateral cooperation, especially in the defense industry and people-to-people exchanges.

They concurred on the need to continue close communication via virtual meetings between the two governments and agreed to seek ways to resume high-level talks, such as a "two plus two" meeting between the foreign and defense ministers.

First Vice Foreign Minister Choi Jong-kun (R) stands with Indian Ambassador to South Korea Sripriya Ranganathan at the foreign ministry in Seoul, in this photo provided by the ministry on Oct. 12, 2020. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Choi also met with Russia's top envoy to Seoul, Andrey Kulik, the same day and expressed hope to improve relations between the two countries by holding regular meetings, including vice ministerial-level strategic talks, according to the ministry.

The vice minister welcomed the resumption of regular flights connecting South Korea and Russia and said he hopes to expand cooperation in the field of public health to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Ambassador Kulik said Russia was ready to strengthen cooperation with South Korea for the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula, according to the ministry.

"The two sides agreed to closely communicate on the regional situation, including the Korean Peninsula, and other bilateral issues," the ministry said in a release.

They also agreed to hold various events to celebrate the South Korea-Russia Year of Exchange to mark the 30th anniversary of establishing diplomatic ties. The two countries earlier agreed to extend the year until 2021 in the wake of the virus outbreak.

Choi also asked India and Russia to support South Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee's bid to become the next director general of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the ministry added.

Yoo has entered the final round of the selection process, competing with Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria. The WTO is expected to announce the decision on the new leader around early November.

First Vice Foreign Minister Choi Jong-kun (R) and Russia's top envoy to Seoul, Andrey Kulik, pose for a photo during a meeting at the foreign ministry in Seoul on Oct. 12, 2020, in this photo provided by the ministry. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)



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