Dmitry Medvedev’s meeting with President of South Korea Moon Jae-in

Excerpts from the transcript:

Meeting with President of South Korea Moon Jae-in

Moon Jae-in (via interpreter): I know that you have made a significant contribution to the development of Russia-South Korea relations and have visited our country twice during your presidency. While you were in office, Russia-South Korea relations progressed to the level of strategic partnership.

We see Russia-South Korea relations as one of our highest priorities in foreign and security policy. This being said, I hope that the strong foundation of our strategic partnership will help us achieve peace, stability and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula as well as across Northeast Asia and the entire Eurasian continent.

It is good that our countries maintain the dynamics of close contact at the high and top levels. This meeting today is further proof that bilateral relations continue to progress at a good pace.

I am pleased to note that Russia-South Korea trade has gone up by 50 percent between January and September, and the tourist exchange is at an all-time high.

During our previous meeting with President Putin, we outlined the main spheres of economic cooperation and strengthened our strategic dialogue on North Korea. It was a very useful meeting that largely helped boost our relations. I hope that our governments will work together to implement all the agreements in this sphere. Mr Medvedev, I ask you to keep our affairs in focus.

For its part, Korea will provide all-round support for the projects to develop Russia’s Far East under the guidance of the Presidential Northern Economic Cooperation Committee. We will do our best to implement our new northern policy by promoting cooperation in the nine coordinated areas. These “nine bridges” include, in part, shipbuilding, port infrastructure and the Northern Sea Route.

Next year we will celebrate the 10th anniversary of strategic partnership between Korea and Russia. Also, Korea and Russia will host international sports events in 2018: the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang and the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. I hope that next year our peoples will become closer still and will exchange visits more often.

Last time President Putin congratulated me and the Korean people on the Korean national team winning the right to participate in the 2018 FIFA World Cup. I wish good luck to your team and, of course, to our team.

Dmitry Medvedev: Mr President, I am happy to have this opportunity to meet with you.

The Republic of Korea is one of Russia’s key partners in the Asian-Pacific Region. Very good relations have developed between our countries. You recently visited Russia for the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, where you and President Putin discussed prospects for practical interaction on all issues, from politics and the political aspects of our cooperation to economic projects. Like the Republic of Korea, we want the Korean Peninsula to be a territory of peace. This is our position of principle, which we uphold at all levels.

As for our economic cooperation, the nine bridges initiative can give a powerful boost to our cooperation in key areas. Our Government is willing to work to implement these ideas, which should be given a practical push now.

Our relations have seriously improved over the past few years. The fact that our trade has increased considerably over the past nine months is proof that our relations have a good potential. Of course, we are willing to promote our humanitarian cooperation and contacts in education, culture and sports. All of this is very important. And the tourist exchange, as you said, has increased substantially over the past few years.

Let’s discuss these issues.