1. Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Kim Hyoung-zhin, together with Deputy Foreign Minister in charge of Asia-Pacific affairs Igor Morgulov of Russia, held the 16th Republic of Korea-Russia vice ministerial policy consultation in Moscow on July 8. In the meeting, the two sides engaged in an extensive exchange of views on bilateral relations, ways to step up substantive bilateral cooperation, and the situations on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia.
2. The two sides agreed to boost substantive cooperation mainly in Russia’s Far East and Siberia. In that regard, they discussed specific ways to work more closely together on fisheries, agriculture and infrastructure as well as in such future-oriented sectors as healthcare, medical service, the Arctic, science, technology and environment.
° Deputy Minister Kim asked for active cooperation of the Russian government in conducting substantive cooperation projects in the sectors of fisheries, agriculture, livestock industry, healthcare, medical service and logistics in Russia’s Far East, as discussed by the ROK-Russia Far East and Siberia Subcommittee on July 7.
° Deputy Minister Morgulov voiced hope for mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries on Russia’s work to establish an advanced development zone and the Free Port of Vladivostok. He also expressed hope for active participation of Korean companies in the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok in September.
° The two sides reaffirmed their shared position that they will seek to create from such cooperation more synergistic effect from the ROK’s Eurasia Initiative and Russia’s new oriental policy. To that end, they agreed to fully use their bilateral platform for investment and loans and continue to seek specific ways to work together in that regard at the meeting of the deputy prime ministerial joint economic committee in August.
3. Deputy Minister Kim, taking note of Russia’s faithful implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2270 in accordance with the principle of non-tolerance for a nuclear North Korea, stressed that in order to deter North Korea from repeating such provocations as launches of ballistic missiles and to induce it to change its attitude, the international community should continuously demonstrate its strong commitment to the denuclearization of North Korea.
4. With regard to the decision to deploy a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) to US Forces Korea, Deputy Minister Morgulov reiterated the Russian government’s position, which had been expressed in the statement issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry on July 8.
° In response, Deputy Minister Kim underscored the decision as a just self-defensive measure that any responsible government of the Republic of Korea should take to protect the country and ensure the safety of its people from North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats. He added that it is not desirable for the ROK-Russia relations to be affected by the envisioned THAAD deployment.
5. The policy consultation came pursuant to the “plan of exchanges between the ROK and Russian Foreign Ministries for the years 2016 and 2017,” which had been signed during Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se’s visit to Russia in June. Going forward, the ROK and Russian Foreign Ministries will hold consultations in various areas, including the UN-related matters, consular affairs, and public relations.
* unofficial translation