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National security adviser met with Russian deputy FM during Seoul visit: sources

Feb. 6, 2024 - 11:26 By Yonhap
This file photo shows National Security Adviser Chang Ho-jin entering a Cabinet meeting at the presidential office in Seoul on Jan. 9, 2024.

National Security Adviser Chang Ho-jin met with Russia Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko when he visited Seoul last week, sources said Tuesday, amid heightened tensions between Seoul and Moscow over North Korea.

The meeting took place on Saturday, the sources said, as tensions have flared anew since Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova denounced President Yoon Suk Yeol's remarks on North Korea as "blatantly biased" on Thursday.

In response, Seoul's foreign ministry called in Russian Ambassador Georgy Zinoviev and lodged a protest.

Observers say Chang and Rudenko's meeting likely reflects Seoul and Moscow's commitment to maintaining stable bilateral ties. Chang was Rudenko's counterpart while he served as the ambassador to Russia from August 2022 to April last year.

During their talks, Chang took issue with Russia's criticism of Yoon's remarks, an official at South Korea's foreign ministry said, declining to comment on Rudenko's response.

The ministry earlier said Rudenko met with Deputy Foreign Minister Chung Byung-won and Kim Gunn, South Korea's top nuclear envoy, on Friday to address the Ukrainian war and bilateral ties.

Rudenko's visit was initially expected to take place last September but was postponed at the last minute. (Yonhap)