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Russia expects Seoul, Pyongyang to maintain contacts after Olympics

February 06, 17:42 UTC+3 SEOUL

Moscow expects all the interested parties to support the steps that Seoul and Pyongyang have been taking in order to resume dialogue

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SEOUL, February 6. /TASS/. Russia welcomes the resumption of contacts between North and South Korea and expects the two countries to maintain contacts after the PyeongChang Olympic Games, Russian Ambassador to South Korea Alexander Timonin said at a reception dedicated to the Diplomat’s Day marked on February 10.

"Russia welcomes positive changes in the situation on the Korean Peninsula reflected in inter-Korean contacts, which took place in January and resulted in important agreements concerning the joint participation of North and South Korea in the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang," the ambassador said. "We hope that the implementation of the agreements will help ease tensions and ensure peace in Southeast Asia," he added.

According to Timonin, Moscow expects all the interested parties to support the steps that Seoul and Pyongyang have been taking in order to resume dialogue. "We hope that Seoul and Pyongyang will continue the policy of rapprochement after the PyeongChang Olympics, which will make it possible to address the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue," the Russian ambassador said.

He pointed out that it was also the goal of the joint road map drawn up by Russia and China.

Destabilizing factors

At the same time, the Russian ambassador noted that deploying US strategic forces and weapons in the vicinity of the Korean Peninsula and holding large-scale military drills, as well as the deployment of the US THAAD anti-ballistic missile defense systems to South Korea, had a negative effect on regional security.

"The show of military muscle on the Korean Peninsula significantly reduces opportunities to improve the situation in the region and build inter-Korean dialogue," Timonin said.

Inter-Korean thaw

Relations between the two Korean states began to thaw in early 2018. Following several rounds of consultations held in the Panmunjom settlement located in the demilitarized zone separating the two countries, the parties agreed that North Korea would send a delegation of athletes, officials and performing artists to the Winter Olympic Games, scheduled to be held in South Korea’s PyeongChang on February 9-25.

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