06:16 GMT +321 October 2019
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    South Korean acting Constitutional Court's Chief Judge Lee Jung-mi, top center, speaks during the final ruling of South Korean President Park Geun-hye's impeachment at the Constitutional Court in Seoul, South Korea

    South Korea to Foster Ties With Russia Despite Domestic Situation – Ambassador

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    South Korea is willing to actively develop relations with Russia in spite of the domestic political situation in Seoul, caused by the aftermath of the recent impeachment of president Park Geun-hye, the Republic of Korea’s ambassador to Russia, Park Ro-byug, said Wednesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Earlier on March 9, the Constitutional Court of South Korea 9 unanimously upheld the parliamentary decision to impeach Park over a corruption scandal.

    "Despite that the developments [in South Korea] are evolving very rapidly, our government and the embassy are sticking to the strong position that we will continue to develop bilateral relations with Russia," ambassador Park said during the meeting with Viktor Ozerov, the head of the defense committee of the Russian upper house of parliament.

    South Korea did not join the sanctions of Western countries against Russia and has always striven to promote bilateral ties, the ambassador underlined.

    A political scandal around the South Korean president broke out in late October 2016, when media reported that Park had allowed her close associate Choi Soon-sil, who did not hold any official post, to be involved in state affairs. Park was accused of extorting money from corporations, including Samsung, with the assistance of Choi, who is currently under arrest.

    Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said earlier this month that the political crisis in South Korea will not affect Moscow-Seoul relations.

    The relations between Moscow and Seoul are unlikely to be regarded as very active, a September 3 summit notwithstanding, that was held on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok. The leaders of Russia and South Korea signed a number of documents there; in particular, an agreement on maritime search and rescue, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the ministries of industry and trade, and an agreement of cooperation on investment projects in Russia's Far East fishery industry.

    impeachment, diplomatic relations, Park Ro-Byug, Park Geun-hye, Russia, South Korea
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