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S. Korea, Russia to hold high-level security dialogue

2015/09/20 09:48

SEOUL, Sept. 20 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and Russia are expected to hold their first high-level security dialogue, government sources said Sunday, amid growing nuclear and missile threats from North Korea ahead of a key anniversary next month.

Nikolai Patrushev, a close aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin, is likely to visit South Korea before heading to Japan late this month, according to the sources asking not to be named.

North Korea has hinted at launching what it called "a series of satellites" ahead of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Workers' Party of Korea on Oct. 10. It has also threatened to conduct a fourth nuclear test.

Patrushev, secretary of the Security Council of Russia, is likely to have talks with his South Korean counterpart Kim Kwan-jin, President Park Geun-hye's chief security aide, during his visit to Seoul, the first one since October 2012, according to the sources.

Japan's Kyodo News reported that the Russian official is expected to stay in Japan, possibly from Tuesday to Thursday.

The Security Council of Russia, chaired by Putin, is Moscow's top consultative body dealing with security affairs.

South Korea has been seeking Russia's role in ending North Korea's nuclear weapons program, given Moscow's "constructive" role in a recent nuclear deal with Iran.

Russia, a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, has been opposed to North Korea's nuclear tests and its launch of long-range rockets. North Korea has been under U.N. sanctions for its missile and nuclear tests.

Park and Putin agreed to hold a security dialogue between their national security offices during their summit in November 2013.