1. On the sidelines of the 53rd Munich Security Conference, Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se met with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov of Russia on February 18, during which the two top diplomats discussed bilateral issues and exchanged views on issues of mutual concern including North Korea and its nuclear weapons program.
2. The two Ministers shared concern over the continued nuclear and missile development by North Korea in flagrant violation of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions as can be seen from its launch of an intermediate-range ballistic missile on February 12; and agreed to remain in strategic communication with each other in responding to the North’s nuclear threats.
° Minister Yun pointed out that the recent launch of the intermediate-range ballistic missile by North Korea demonstrates the fast advancement of the North’s nuclear capability toward the final stage of nuclear armament. He added that in a bid to make the North clearly realize that it has no other option but to change its calculus and denuclearize itself, the international community should continue enforcing and even toughen sanctions and pressure on the North.
° Minister Lavrov reaffirmed that the Russian government, firmly opposed to a nuclear North Korea, will thoroughly implement the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, including Resolution 2321.
3. The two top diplomats noted with appreciation that their two countries have been working smoothly together in the development of Russia’s Far East in follow-up on the bilateral summit talks held on the sidelines of the second Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok in September 2016. They also took note of the fact that people-to-people exchanges in their private sectors have grown greatly, enhancing the mutual trust and understanding between the peoples of the two countries.
° The two Ministers agreed to boost high-level exchanges between the governments and the parliaments as well as in humanities, to seek smooth progress in the follow-up on the bilateral summit talks and to accelerate cooperation in the development of Russia’s Far East, all in efforts to step up mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries.
4. The ROK-Russia foreign ministerial meeting served as a good opportunity to closely coordinate the two countries’ positions on North Korea and discuss ways to strengthen their cooperative partnership across the board.
* unofficial translation