1. Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha visited Moscow from August 24 to 25 at the invitation of her Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, and reviewed preparations for President Moon Jae-in’s upcoming visit to Russia, which will include participation in the third Eastern Economic Forum (September 6-7, Vladivostok).
o On August 25, Minister Kang held the ROK-Russia Foreign Ministers’ meeting and a luncheon meeting with Minister Lavrov, and met with the Russian President’s foreign policy adviser Yuri Ushakov.
2. In the Foreign Ministers’ meeting and luncheon meeting held at the Guest House of Russia’s Foreign Ministry on August 25, the two Ministers held in-depth discussions on the expected results from the ROK-Russia summit meeting, to be held in Vladivostok in September, as well as ways to increase substantive cooperation between the two countries and the North Korean nuclear issue.
o The two Ministers expressed satisfaction over the positive signs in the development of the bilateral relations since the inauguration of the Moon Jae-in government, such as robust high-level exchanges in various areas, including between the governments and parliaments of the two countries; the increasing people-to-people exchanges in the private sector; and the recovery in bilateral trade. They agreed to work to make substantive progress in the bilateral strategic cooperative partnership.
o The two Ministers especially shared the view that President Moon Jae-in’s visit to Russia in September will become an important opportunity to prepare for a new leap in the bilateral relations, and agreed to actively work to draw substantive results from the ROK-Russia summit meeting, focusing on solidifying the foundation for economic cooperation between the two countries, strengthening cooperation in the development of the Far East, and securing future growth potential.
3. Noting that the international community affirmed resolving North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile threats is the top priority for them at the ARF early this month, the two Ministers agreed to further increase cooperation between the ROK and Russia in deterring North Korea’s additional provocation, and inducing the North to take the path towards denuclearization through all possible means, including sanctions and dialogue.
4. Minister Kang took note that under the firm principle of no tolerance for a nuclear North Korea, the Russian side has made a range of efforts to ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula and denuclearize North Korea. She also asked the Russian side to use its influence on North Korea as much as possible to induce the North to stop provocations and comply with Security Council resolutions and its denuclearization obligations, and to play a constructive role in getting North Korea to swiftly respond to the ROK government’s efforts to improve inter-Korean relations.
o Minister Lavrov said that as President Putin stressed at the ROK-Russia summit meeting held on the sidelines of the G20 summit, Russia is entirely opposed to North Korea’s nuclear development, and reaffirmed that Russia will faithfully implement relevant Security Council resolutions to achieve the international community’s common goal of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.
o In addition, Minister Lavrov took note of the ROK government’s efforts to ease the rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula, reaffirming the Russian government’s appreciation of the ROK’s efforts to establish peace on the Korean Peninsula and improve inter-Korean relations.
5. The two Ministers agreed on the need to actively cooperate in deterring and responding to North Korea’s provocations, and to make proactive efforts to bring North Korea to the dialogue table to discuss its denuclearization. They agreed to continue to strengthen close communications and cooperation through various channels, including the ROK-Russia summit to be held on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum next month.
6. In her meeting with foreign policy adviser Ushakov, Minister Kang explained the ROK government’s policies to make substantive progress in the ROK-Russia strategic cooperative partnership, including increasing cooperation in the development of the Far East and other economic fields; securing future growth potential; and expanding strategic communications to solve the North Korean problem. Minister Kang also offered to pursue close cooperation between the governments of the two countries so that President Moon Jae-in’s visit to Russia in September, which will include participation in the third Eastern Economic Forum, will achieve substantive results.
o Adviser Ushakov explained that President Putin places importance on Russia’s relations with the ROK and is firmly committed to the principle of no tolerance for a nuclear North Korea, and said that as President Moon Jae-in’s forthcoming visit to Russia will serve as an important opportunity to further develop the bilateral relations, Russia will provide active cooperation, including welcoming President Moon with maximum respect and developing projects that can achieve tangible results, in order to ensure the success of the visit.
7. Foreign Minister Kang’s visit to Russia, which marked the first bilateral visit since her inauguration, contributed to developing the bilateral strategic cooperative partnership in a stable manner, including by expanding substantive cooperation between the two countries, and to increasing strategic communications on issues on the Korean Peninsula.
* unofficial translation