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Park seeks Russia's support in resolving North Korean nuclear standoff

2013/09/07 02:21

By Chang Jae-soon

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, Sept. 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Friday asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to work with her to resolve the North Korean nuclear standoff and push for such ambitious joint projets as linking railways of the two nations via the North.

Park and Putin met one-on-one after they and other leaders of the world's top 20 advanced and emerging economies wrapped up two days of discussions in Russia's second-largest city with an agreement to strengthen macroeconomic coordination to help spur the global economy.

Park hailed progress in relations between Seoul and Moscow since they opened diplomatic relations in 1990, saying bilateral trade volume jumped more than 110-fold. Still, she said, relations between the two countries could have developed further without the North Korean nuclear crisis.

"I hope we can work together to resolve the issue and upgrade relations between the two countries by a notch," she said.

Park also said that one of her foreign policy priorities is to strengthen relations with Eurasian nations. She also expressed hope for realizing a long-discussed ambitious project to link railways of the two sides via North Korea and through to Europe.

Park also praised Putin for successfully playing host to the G20 summit.

Putin said that South Korea is one of Russia's key partners in Asia. He said trade between the two countries mounted to US$25 billion and jumped 3 percent in the first half of this year alone.

Later in the day, Park held a meeting with South Korean residents in Russia.

She said Russia's support is key to South Korea's policy on North Korea and to bringing permanent peace on the divided peninsula through her "Korean Peninsula trust process," a step-by-step approach to building trust with the communist neighbor.

"I will work toward building peace on the Korean Peninsula and trust between the South and the North while remedying the wrong practices in inter-Korean relations," she said.

jschang@yna.co.kr

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