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Putin to meet with South Korean president’s envoy on May 24

May 23, 13:53 UTC+3 MOSCOW

South Korean’s leader Moon Jae-in, who assumed office on May 10, has announced plans to send his special envoys to Russia, the United States, China and Japan to coordinate bilateral cooperation

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MOSCOW, May 23. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin will discuss with South Korean president’s envoy Song Young-gil the preparations for a visit of South Korean President Moon Jae-in to Russia, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

"Yes," Peskov said when asked if this meeting is due to take place.

"The special envoy is bringing some deliberations, some messages from his president, South Korea’s new President Moon Jae-in," Peskov said.

When asked if the sides plan to discuss North Korea’s nuclear issue, Peskov noted that "the position of the Russian side on the Korean nuclear problem is consistent and well-known."

"We call on the sides to show restraint to avoid steps, which may lead to the escalation of tensions and welcome any steps, which may ease tensions. That’s why tomorrow the president will listen to this special envoy," Peskov said.

He recalled that the initiative to send a special envoy was put forward during a phone conversation between the two leaders on May 12. "South Korean friends have already had similar contacts in a number of other capitals, including in Tokyo," Peskov said.

Song Young-gil has confirmed that tomorrow he will meet with Putin and "discuss in detail a possible visit of the president." The envoy plans to convey to Putin thanks from the new South Korean leader for greetings on his election.

The diplomat also expects to discuss issues of energy cooperation. "We may speak about details (of energy cooperation)," he said on Tuesday after a meeting with Deputy Speaker of the Russian parliament’s upper house Ilyas Umakhanov.

On Monday, KBS TV channel reported that during his visit to Moscow Song Young-gil plans to convey a personal message of the South Korean president that contains a range of issues on bilateral cooperation, including the supplies of natural gas. Besides, the South Korean side hopes to discuss North Korea’s nuclear issue.

Song Young-gil, the former mayor of Incheon, in northwestern South Korea, is a lawmaker of the Democratic Party, who has good ties with Moscow, according to the report. He had initiated the handover to Russia of a flag from the Varyag cruiser, which sank in 1904 during the battle against the Japanese Fleet. Although the flag remained in the museum of Incheon, the move came under the media spotlight and contributed to the rapprochement of the two countries. In 2010, Song Young-gil was awarded Russia’s Order of Friendship.

South Korean’s leader Moon Jae-in, who assumed office on May 10, has announced plans to send his special envoys to Russia, the United States, China and Japan to coordinate bilateral cooperation.

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