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Moon's Security Aide Visits Russia for Talks on Denuclearization, Inter-Korean Cooperation

Write: 2020-02-13 13:05:42Update: 2020-02-13 18:42:16

Photo : YONHAP News

Anchor: President Moon Jae-in's senior security aide embarked on a visit to Moscow this week, where he is expected to seek ways to bring North Korea back to the denuclearization talks. He is also expected to request Russian support for Seoul's push to resume inter-Korean projects such as railways, roads and tourism.
Choi You Sun reports.

Report: South Korea's Deputy National Security Adviser Kim Hyun-chong arrived in Moscow on Wednesday.

[Sound bite: S. Korea's Deputy National Security Adviser Kim Hyun-chong (Korean)]
"There are bilateral issues that need to be discussed and this year marks the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations. We will also discuss President Putin's visit to South Korea."

Kim said during his three-day stay, he plans to discuss the details of Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to South Korea expected during the first half of the year, including the schedule.

The presidential aide, however, declined to comment on whether he would discuss the stalled denuclearization talks between Washington and Pyongyang or resuming inter-Korean economic cooperation with Russian officials.

Kim's trip to Moscow comes just days after he visited Washington for talks with officials within the Donald Trump administration.

In Moscow, Kim is expected to seek ways to coordinate efforts with Russia on bringing North Korea back to negotiations.

Seoul is also seeking support from Russia, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, for its resolve to resume inter-Korean projects to facilitate the denuclearization talks.

The Moon Jae-in administration hopes to allow individual tours to the North, resume a project to reconnect roads and railways across the border, and transform the Demilitarized Zone(DMZ) into an international peace zone.

Meanwhile, speaking to Russia's state-run RIA Novosti news agency on Wednesday, the Russian ambassador in Pyongyang said it remains uncertain whether the North will conduct a new nuclear test.

Referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's declaration in December that his country will no longer be bound by a self-imposed moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile tests, Alexander Matsegora said it shouldn't be taken as a direct statement.

The Russian diplomat pointed out that while the North is no longer bound by the moratorium, Pyongyang has conducted enough tests in developing its nuclear capabilities.

Regarding the stalled denuclearization dialogue, Matsegora said Pyongyang has fundamentally changed its position regarding the denuclearization process since the rupture of bilateral talks with Washington last February.

He added that North Korea no longer wishes to engage in an incremental approach to denuclearization in which Pyongyang reciprocates each time Washington relaxes a sanction.
Choi You Sun, KBS World Radio News.

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