Putin, Moon Back 'Denuclearization' Of Korean Peninsula, Hail Economic Links
RFE/RL June 22, 2018
The leaders of Russia and South Korea have agreed to back efforts to bring about the "complete denuclearization" of the Korean Peninsula and said recent dialogue between the United States and North Korea would help ease tensions.
Russia's Vladimir Putin and South Korea's Moon Jae-in on June 22 said they agreed to "continue joint efforts to establish complete denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and secure permanent peace and stability on the peninsula and northeast Asia."
"When discussing the international agenda, we focused on the situation surrounding the Korean Peninsula. We stressed that the situation in this region has been gradually improving recently," Putin said.
The comments came in a joint statement during a visit to Moscow by Moon, who arrived on June 21 in the first official visit to Russia by a South Korean president since 1999.
According to the statement, Putin and Moon agreed that the recent historic summit in Singapore between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un would have a positive effect on attempts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.
Moon said the Singapore summit and recent high-level meetings between the North and South had "laid a cornerstone [for] full denuclearization and perpetual peace on the Korean Peninsula."
They also expressed hopes that reduced tensions will create opportunities for economic and infrastructure projects that could link South Korea with Russia through the North, activities that are now blocked by global sanctions against Pyongyang due to its nuclear-weapons program.
The statement specifically cited railway projects and said development of a link between the Russian eastern border town of Khasan and the North Korean port of Rajin.
"Large-scale infrastructure projects will contribute to northeast Asia's peace and prosperity," the leaders said.
Moon said it was time for North Korea to enter into trilateral economic-development projects with Russia and South Korea.
Putin, who emphasized that South Korea was a "priority partner" for Russia in Asia, confirmed he had invited Moon to attend the Eastern Economic Forum scheduled for September in the Far Eastern city of Vladivostok.
Separately, North and South Korea issued a joint statement saying that a reunion of families separated since the end of fighting in the Korean W
ar would be held from August 20-26. The resumption of such reunions was a key agreement of a summit between Moon and Kim in April.
With reporting by AFP, TASS, Reuters, and AP
Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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