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Moon asks Moscow to play bigger role in prompting denuclearization steps from Pyongyang

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday hinted that sanctions on North Korea should be eased, in a meeting with President Moon Jae-in in Singapore, Cheong Wa Dae said.

“President Putin said that if North Korea’s denuclearization measures have advanced, there should be corresponding measures,” Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson Kim Eui-kyeom said. The comment falls in line with Moscow’s stance that some sanctions on North Korea could be eased in light of recent developments. 

President Moon Jae-in and Russian President Vladimir Putin hold summit talks in Singapore on Wednedsay. Yonhap
President Moon Jae-in and Russian President Vladimir Putin hold summit talks in Singapore on Wednedsay. Yonhap

“President Moon urged Russia to play a proactive role in bringing North Korea to take bolder denuclearization moves.”

According to Cheong Wa Dae, Putin also expressed support for Moon’s idea of forming a rail network community in Northeast Asia, and said that Moscow will cooperate with Seoul on related matters.

The idea of rail network community, suggested by Moon in August, would involve the two Koreas, China, Japan, Mongolia, Russian and the US cooperating in rail-related projects.

In the meeting, Moon and Putin also discussed ways to further develop bilateral ties, and agreed to cooperate towards the goal of increasing bilateral trade volume to $30 billion and the number of Koreans and Russians visiting the other country to 1 million by 2020.

At the start of the meeting, Moon thanked Putin for his role in North Korean issues, and expressed hopes for further developments in the coming months.

“Going forward, there is the second North Korea-US summit and Chairman Kim Jong-un’s visit to Seoul, I hope the two summit meetings will bring major developments for complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the peace process,” Moon said.

Moon also said that South Korea-Russia trade and cooperation between local governments of the two countries are developing at a satisfactory pace, and he thanked Putin for sending a message to the Korea-Russia local governments forum held in Pohang, North Gyeongsang Province, last week.

The Russian leader stressed the fast growing bilateral trade, adding the two countries have several subjects of mutual interest.

“Korea is one of Russia’s largest trading partners in the Asia Pacific region, ranking second place in terms of bilateral trade,” Putin said, adding that Korea-Russia trade volume has increased 20 percent so far this year.

“Russia and Korea are also closely cooperating on the international stage to resolve the problem on the Korean Peninsula.”

By Choi He-suk (