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S. Korean foreign ministry summons Russian envoy over NK ties

Sept. 19, 2023 - 19:27 By Yonhap
This photo shows South Korea's Vice Foreign Minister Chang Ho-jin (right) calling in Russian Ambassador to South Korea Andrey Kulik (left). (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

The South Korean foreign ministry summoned the top Russian envoy to the country Tuesday to lodge a complaint over Moscow's discussions of arms deals and military cooperation with North Korea.

Seoul's Vice Foreign Minister Chang Ho-jin called in Russian Ambassador Andrey Kulik earlier in the day and called for Moscow to comply with U.N. Security Council resolutions, the ministry said in a message to reporters.

The summons came after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un held a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin last week and toured a series of key military sites amid growing concerns about a possible arms deal between the two nations.

Chang called for Russia to "immediately" end moves to seek military ties with North Korea.

He also stressed that Russia should act "responsibly" as a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council and that any violations of the resolution, as well as actions that threaten South Korea's security, would have a negative impact on the relationship between the two countries.

Unification Minister Kim Yung-ho, meanwhile, criticized North Korea for neglecting the livelihood of its people while developing its nuclear and missile technologies in a statement released earlier in the day.

"During their recent summit, North Korea and Russia discussed several measures regarding military cooperation, including ICBM development, which poses a threat to the peace and stability of the world and us," Kim said.

"The government is maintaining an unwavering security posture to cope with any type of threat from North Korea," he added.

In a separate release, Kim also urged North Korea and Russia to cease their unlawful and reckless behaviors, which could result in self-isolation, and called upon both nations to abide by international norms, including Security Council resolutions.