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S. Korea, Russia to hold talks coinciding with Kim-Putin summit

Wednesday - April 24, 2019 4:54 pm , Category : WORLD
Seoul, April 24 (IANS) South Korea announced on Wednesday that it would hold high-level security consultations with Russia on the same day when North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is scheduled to hold a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Chung Eui-yong, the Director of South Korea's National Security Office, is scheduled to meet his Russian counterpart Nikolai Patrushev, Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, in Seoul on Thursday, said deputy presidential spokesperson Ko Min-jung in a press conference.
The senior Russian official, whose agenda or itinerary has not been revealed, will also pay a courtesy call on South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Yonhap news agency reported.
The spokesperson did not offer any details about the content of the meetings although it is believed that Patrushev, who is very close to the Russian President, will inform Seoul about the agenda scheduled for the summit between Kim and Putin.
The North Korean leader and the Russian President will meet for the first time on Thursday.
Kim Jong-un's armoured train crossed into Russia on Wednesday on its way to the city of Vladivostok, located 300 km from the border between the two countries, where his summit with Putin will reportedly be held, according to Yonahp.
The Kim-Putin talks are expected to focus not only on Pyongyang's denuclearization but also on possible economic cooperation projects that could help North Korea cope with strict UN sanctions imposed on the regime for its nuclear programme.
The meeting is seen as an opportunity for Kim to drum up greater support from Putin to his proposal for gradual denuclearization, an offer that Washington rejected at a February summit in Hanoi, Vietnam.

--IANS soni/