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Kim, Putin agree on NE Asian cooperation

Posted September. 09, 2000 17:58,   


President Kim Dae-Jung and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, held a one-on-one summit on Friday night in New York and exchanged views on joint efforts to improve South-North relations in the wake of the June 15 inter-Korean summit, build Northeast Asian stability and promote Korea-Russian economic cooperation. Presidents Kim and Putin reached a consensus on seeking ways to promote three-party economic ventures involving the two Koreas and Russia, such as the connection of the inter-Korean Geongwon (Seoul-Wonsan) Railway with the trans-Siberian railroads to create what Kim called "Iron Silk Roads." With the Kim-Putin accord, Northeast Asian economic cooperation is expected to accelerate.

At the beginning of their talks, Putin briefed the President in detail on the results of his visit to North Korea in July. The Russian leader said he received the impression that North Korean Defense Commission Chairman Kim

Jong-Il had a strong desire to improve relations with South Korea. Saying

that the North Korean leader is scheduled to visit Russia some day, Putin promised that if he meets with Kim Jong-Il, he will play a positive role in improving inter-Korean ties. President Kim expressed appreciation for Russia`s continuous assistance to Korea and asked for joint efforts to advance the inter-Korean relationship and contribute to stability and peace in Northeast Asia.

Their conversation naturally moved toward Seoul-Moscow bilateral economic cooperation with Kim`s overtures on linking the Geongwon Railway with the Trans-Siberian Railway and the joint development of the Siberian gas field and industrial complex with the participation of North Korea. Reaching a broad agreement on Kim`s propositions, the two leaders agreed that the

matters would be discussed in detail when Prime Minister Lee Han-Dong visits Russia in late September.