S. Korea seeks ‘constructive’ Russian role for peninsula peace

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Seoul, June 1 (IANS) South Korea’s Vice Foreign Minister Lim Sung-nam urged Russia on Friday to play a “constructive” role amid a flurry of diplomacy aimed at ending North Korea’s nuclear ambitions and establishing lasting peace on the Korean peninsula.

Lim comments came during a meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Titov in Seoul, ahead of a possible June 12 summit between the US and North Korea in Singapore over the fate of Pyongyang’s nuclear programme.

“(We) express our gratitude once again for Russia’s interest and support during the process of a positive change in the situation on the Korean peninsula,” Lim said during the two countries’ sixth vice-ministerial strategic dialogue.

“(We) hope that Russia will play a more constructive role and have closer strategic communication with us,” he was cited as saying by Yonhap news agency.

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The Russian official expressed his expectation that the two sides could exchange views on “interesting changes” in the region and security on the peninsula.

Friday’s meeting came a day after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov visited Pyongyang and held talks with top North Korean officials, including leader Kim Jong-un and Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho.

At the talks, Kim reaffirmed that he was committed to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and expressed hope for a phased process in resolving the nuclear issue, according to the North’s official Korean Central News Agency.

During his talks with the North Korean Foreign Minister, Lavrov discussed a range of issues, including launching trilateral projects between the two Koreas and Russia to link their railway networks and to build a gas pipeline.

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