23:11 GMT +319 March 2018
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    NOVOSTI. Pan Ki-mun, South Korea's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, is visiting Russia, May 23-25, as has been announced. Do you find the overall state of Russian-South Korean contacts beneficial to the visit?

    YAKOVENKO. Mr. Pan Ki-mun's routine visit will pass against a background of dynamic political contacts and exchanges, which are characteristic of the two countries' relations.

    Thanks to attention the leaders of the Republic of Korea paid to the matter, last February saw centennial celebrations in its Inchon seaport of a feat of glory performed by the crews of the Russian cruiser "Varyag" and the "Koreyets" gunboat [during the Russo-Japanese War]. Moscow's Mayor Yuri Luzhkov was active in Moscow Days in Seoul, April last, and visited the city on the occasion. That, too, promoted contacts between the two metropolitan cities.

    July 7 will be a 120th signing anniversary of the Russo-Korean Treaty of Friendship and Trade. This year will see other celebrations, too-voluntary Korean immigration to Russia started 140 years ago.

    A dialogue of the two Foreign Ministries is on. Moscow and Seoul alternately host regular consultations on bilateral relations, developments in the Korean Peninsula, and international issues.

    NOVOSTI. What will be the agenda of Mr. Pan's Moscow negotiations?

    YAKOVENKO. The two Foreign Ministers will appraise the present state of bilateral trade and other economic contacts, and discuss the prospects for closer links.

    The Russian-South Korean trade turnover spectacularly increased last year-4.2 billion US dollars, as against $3.3 billion in 2002. Accumulated invested capital amounts to $202 million.

    South Korean capital is expected to contribute to a number of ambitious projects, with an impressive increase of investment in Russia. This country is improving capital investment terms to promise a greater scope and longer terms of its economic contacts with South Korea. Implementation of several major projects has taken start.

    Russia attaches not only an economic but political importance to its economic partnership with the two Koreas. These tripartite contacts focus on known blueprints to revive the Trans-Korean Rail and adjoin it to the Trans-Siberian, and a number of joint energy ventures. The three countries' railway transport spokesmen met toward the end of April last for practical appraisal of the chances to implement the project as the conferees compared and coordinated their stances.

    Russia is active in tackling the Korean Peninsula's problems-not merely because of economic benefits this activity promises but because it is essential for the whole world to prevent the Koreas from nuclear arms proliferation, and settle the nuclear issue.

    The six countries' Beijing negotiations have had two rounds for now. Their achievements proved the main thing that matters-all negotiators are willing to carry on the talks, with prospects for an understanding on the Korean Peninsula's nuclear-free status.

    The current developments are extremely involved. If North Korea receives necessary security guarantees, to say nothing of economic aid and humanitarian assistance, that will improve the situation, enhance the security of all countries in that part of the world, and promote stability in the entire peninsula.

    As it is working for better relations between South Korea and North, Russia is making due account for an unique dialogue between the two Koreas, and for partnership as prominent part of stability in the peninsula.

    The Moscow negotiators will certainly regard other topical international issues, too-in particular, normalising the Iraqi developments, the Asian and Pacific situation, Mideastern settlement, the international anti-terror cause and, last but not least, ocean wildlife protection.

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