President Moon Jae-in and Russian President Vladimir Putin held a summit at the Rihga Royal Hotel Osaka from 12:36 a.m. to 1:29 a.m. today. The two Presidents had in-depth discussions on how to work together for denuclearization and the settlement of peace on the Korean Peninsula as well as how to promote substantive collaboration between Korea and Russia in such areas as an FTA in the service and investment sectors and the “Nine Bridges” initiative.
President Putin informed President Moon of the outcome of his summit with North Korea’s Chairman Kim Jong Un in April, saying the Chairman had stressed that a security guarantee for the North is vital and that corresponding measures need to be taken in return for denuclearization.
Giving high marks to President Moon’s endeavors for inter-Korean dialogue, President Putin said he welcomes and supports the South’s recent humanitarian assistance to the North.
In reply, President Moon expressed his appreciation to President Putin for having clarified his steadfast stance on the principle of achieving complete denuclearization through dialogue and the necessity for advancing talks between the two Koreas as well as between North Korea and the United States to that end during the April North Korea-Russia summit.
President Moon also said Russia’s constructive role is of immense help in moving the peace process on the Korean Peninsula forward, expressing his intent to continue close communication and cooperation with Russia.
Noting that the exchange of personal letters between President Donald Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un has again added to momentum for dialogue, President Moon said he looks forward to working together with Russia and China in order to maintain such positive momentum.
President Moon also expressed the hope that three-way cooperation among both Koreas and Russia could be implemented in earnest once relevant conditions are created: progress in the Korean Peninsula’s denuclearization and the removal of sanctions against North Korea. The President next noted that their two countries’ joint studies into such sectors as railroads, gas and power generation are proceeding smoothly.
The two Presidents expressed the hope that the action plan for the Nine Bridges initiative, which was signed in February this year, will be systematically implemented and produce tangible outcomes.
The two leaders expressed pleasure with the official launch of negotiations over a Korea-Russia FTA in the service and investment sectors being announced on June 20. They said they hope that, based on those negotiations, consultations over a Korea-Eurasian Economic Union FTA, to include goods, also gain momentum.
The two leaders welcomed the fact that bilateral trade grew almost 30 percent last year and that the positive trend is continuing this year as well. They found common ground on ensuring that the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties next year serves as an opportunity to elevate the two countries’ strategic cooperative partnership to the next level by achieving US$30 billion in trade and 1 million people-to-people exchanges by 2020.
The two leaders spoke highly of the fact that Korean shipbuilders are now involved in the construction of icebreakers that Russia needs for its LNG development projects and agreed to expand bilateral cooperation further going forward.
President Moon said he hopes that President Putin will visit Korea at the earliest possible date so that they can have an opportunity to hold in-depth discussions on various areas. President Putin said that he had fond memories of his previous visits to Korea and that he will consider the invitation in a positive light.