President Moon Jae-in said Thursday that South Korea will lay firm groundwork for trilateral economic cooperation with North Korea and Russia by bringing lasting peace to the Korean Peninsula.
Moon made the remark during an address at the inaugural meeting in the southeastern city of Pohang of the Korea-Russia Local Cooperation Forum involving 17 local governments of South Korea and nine local governments in Russia's Far East.
President Moon Jae-in speaks during the inaugural meeting of the Korea-Russia Local Cooperation Forum, held in Pohang on Thursday. (Yonhap)
"The United States and North Korea are making preparations for a new summit, and a return visit to Seoul by Chairman Kim Jong-un is ahead of us. (Russian) President (Vladimir) Putin is providing unwaveringly strong support for our journey for lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula," Moon said.
"The government will lay firm groundwork for triangular cooperation between the South, the North and Russia through peace on the Korean Peninsula," he said. "North Gyeongsang Province will develop into a central region of trade with northern nations."
Moon said he and Putin agreed in two summit meetings to create the cooperation forum under a vision to make the Far East region a base for prosperity and peace in Northeast Asia, and Russia's Far East is a central point in cooperation and exchanges between the two countries.
"Today is a historic day when the first step (toward the vision) is taken," he said. "This will serve as a turning point in moving forward all-round cooperation between the local and central governments of the two countries."
Moon said South Korea and Russia have steadily built friendship since they forged diplomatic relations almost 30 years ago, and the two countries should build on the achievement and friendship to open a new horizon in bilateral cooperation.
Moon also stressed the importance of the roles of local governments in boosting cooperation between the two countries, saying that cooperation between local governments will be key to realizing his "nine bridges" vision calling for enhancing bilateral cooperation in nine areas. (Yonhap)