18:14 GMT06 March 2021
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    SEOUL (Sputnik) – Vaccine diplomacy can help South Korea re-engage with the North with the help of Russia, Choi Moon-soon, the governor of the northeastern border province of Gangwon, said on Monday.

    "If we send vaccines from South Korea (which are made using Russian technology) – and if Russia is a mediator in the process – this could help improve inter-Korean relations,” he said.

    South Korean pharma firm GL Rapha struck a deal with Russia’s RDIF sovereign wealth fund to produce 150 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine every year. The plant is located in Chuncheon, the capital of the Gangwon province.

    "A trilateral cooperation would be a great start. We do not have contacts with the North, and we would welcome Russia’s help in this regard," Gov. Choi admitted in an interview.

    Contact between the North and South broke off in summer after Pyongyang accused Seoul of allowing human rights activists to distribute propaganda leaflets across the border. The breakup marked the end of two years of inter-Korean rapprochement that was kick-started by former US President Donald Trump.

    Sputnik V, diplomacy, COVID-19, vaccine, North Korea, South Korea, Russia, Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF)
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