1. Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang Kyung-wha held a meeting and a working luncheon with Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey LAVROV in Moscow on June 17. During the meeting and the luncheon, the two sides extensively discussed bilateral relations between the Republic of Korea and the Russian Federation, the situation on the Korean Peninsula, and major global issues.
2. The two Ministers noted with appreciation that on the basis of the friendship and trust built through active summit diplomacy over the past two years, the ROK and Russia are seeing advances in their close relations, including vitalized high-level exchanges, expanded trade and people-to-people exchanges, and promoted substantive cooperation.
° The two Ministers expressed satisfaction with the fact that the governments and the parliaments of the two countries, by actively engaging in high-level exchanges, are implementing follow-ups on the summit talks held in June 2018, and cooperating and communicating with each other in various fields, including political affairs, economy and culture.
° The two Ministers appreciated the fact that, even amid the uncertainty in the global economy, the trade volume between the two countries had reached some 25 billion USD in 2018, up 31% from the previous year; and that the number of people engaging in exchanges had continued to grow, reaching a record-breaking some 700,000 in 2018.
- In particular, the two sides took note of strengthened economic cooperation between the ROK and the Russian Far East, with the ROK having been the latter’s No. 1 trading partner in the first quarter of 2019.
° The two Ministers, welcoming that the “Joint Statement on the Action Plan for the Nine-Bridge Korean-Russian Trade and Economic Cooperation (Nine-Bridge Action Plan)” was signed in February 2019, agreed to pursue systematic cooperation in main areas of bilateral cooperation, including shipbuilding, port construction, education, and health and medical care.
° The two Ministers agreed to render support for the 2nd ROK-Russia Interregional Cooperation Forum to be successfully held in Vladivostok in the second half of 2019 and thereby to help provincial governments of the two countries continue cooperation on the development of the Russian Far East.
° The two Ministers agreed to seek a bilateral FTA in services and investment and to expand cooperation to create future growth engines mainly in the areas of science and technology, information and communications technology (ICT) and innovation.
° The two Ministers agreed to work together to hold a variety of cultural events in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations in 2020, and thereby to enhance mutual understanding and friendship between the peoples of the two countries and to take the bilateral relations to the next level.
3. In the meeting, the two Ministers shared assessments of the current situation on the Korean Peninsula and discussed ways to work together toward complete denuclearization and the establishment of permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula.
° The two Ministers shared the view that now is a very crucial moment in moving unwaveringly forward the peace process on the Korean Peninsula; and that the dialogue between the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea should promptly resume and produce substantive progress toward denuclearization.
° Minister Kang extended appreciation to the Russian government for firmly supporting advances in inter-Korean relations as well as playing a constructive role on Korean Peninsula issues. She went on to ask the Russian government to continue bilateral efforts toward an early resumption of US-DPRK dialogue.
° The two sides agreed to communicate and cooperate closely at various levels to achieve complete denuclearization and the establishment of permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula.
4. The two Ministers also discussed major international issues and ways to work together on the international stage.
5. The second ROK-Russia foreign ministerial meeting in 2019 is seen to have served as an opportunity to review the progress in the follow-ups on the bilateral summit talks held during President Moon Jae-in’s state visit to Russia in June 2018; to discuss ways to advance the relations between the two countries that will mark the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations in 2020; and to communicate and cooperate closely on the current situation on the Korean Peninsula.
6. After the ROK-Russia foreign ministerial meeting, Minister Kang met with Yuri USHAKOV, Aide to the Russian President, and exchanged viewed with him on the overall ROK-Russia relations.
* unofficial translation