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PRESS RELEASE


Russian President Welcomes South Korean Envoy; Trilateral Economic Cooperation with North Korea on the Table

May 24, 2017 (EIRNS)—Russian President Vladirmir Putin today warmly welcomed South Korean presidential envoy, legislator Song Young-gil, who delivered a message from President Moon Jae-in, according to the Kremlin website.

Song thanked Putin for meeting with his delegation, and for his congratulatory meesage to President Moon.

"Our new President," he said,

"has a strong will and a great interest in, and love for, Russia, and for relations between Russia and Korea. I have a feeling that it will be very easy for you to work with our new President."

He then passed along the message from Moon on his government’s intentions and political goals.

Prior to meeting with Putin, the Yonhap news agency reported, Song met with Russian Far East Development Minister Alexander Galushka to discuss potential trilateral economic cooperation—the two Koreas and Russia—as a means of dissuading North Korea from its nuclear weapons development. Song told reporters afterwards that Russia stressed the importance of dialogue and negotiations in dealing with North Korea, and also agreed on the possibility of trilateral cooperation.

"Minister Galushka suggested that trilateral cooperation of the South, North, and Russia, which has been in stalemate due to the nuclear issues, be pushed forward independently, and I agreed to that,"

Song told reporters. Both agreed "in principle," to move forward to resume several three-way projects now on hold, Yonhap reports.

Meanwhile, inside South Korea, Xinhua reports, "expectations are running high" that Moon Jae-in will resume the Sunshine policy toward the North. Moon Chung-in, a special presidential aide for unification, security, and foreign affairs, told the local daily Chosun Ilbo that previous governments had imposed "unnecessarily excessive" sanctions on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea), and proposed that South Korea carry out normal economic transactions with the D.P.R.K., and move in the direction of dialogue. Chung Eui-yong, a top national security advisor to Moon, said on Monday that the government will seek a way to resume the two stalled projects—the Kaesong industrial park and the Mount Kumgang resort—within the framework of "undamaging" the sanctions imposed on the D.P.R.K. by the international community.