South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong and his visiting Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov held talks here on Thursday to discuss the Korean Peninsula issue and ways to develop bilateral ties.

It was the first dialogue between the top diplomats of the two countries since June 2019, reports Xinhua news agency.

Chung said in a statement that he and Lavrov agreed to continue working together to arrange an early visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to South Korea as the Covid-19 situation is stabilised, while facilitating senior-level exchanges and cooperation between the two sides, according to the Foreign Ministry in Seoul.

They agreed to continue cooperation in the areas of “nine bridges” agreed upon by South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Putin in 2017 as a framework for substantive cooperation between the two countries.

The two ministers agreed to expand the bilateral cooperation in the disease prevention and control and the public health, under a common understanding that solidarity and cooperation are of paramount importance in overcoming the global challenge of Covid-19, the statement said.

South Korea and Russia agreed to continue close communication and cooperation at various levels to advance the Korean Peninsula peace process, according to the statement.

The statement said Seoul appreciates Moscow’s various proposals to achieve complete denuclearisation and settle permanent peace on the peninsula as well as its consistent support for efforts for improvement in inter-Korean ties and the peninsula peace process.

South Korea asked Russia to continue to play a constructive role in the process, the statement added.

–IANS

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