Russia trying to dissuade N. Korea from nuke test
Incheon mayor Song Young-gil met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin on Friday and discussed a range of topics that included North Korea's threatened third nuclear test, they said.
"Russia is exerting its utmost efforts to dissuade North Korea from conducting a nuclear test," an Incheon city official quoted Putin as saying during a 30-minute meeting with the South Korean mayor.
Song began a five-day visit to Russia on Wednesday at the invitation of Putin who recognized the South Korean port city's efforts to promote friendship between the two countries. During the meeting with Song, Putin conferred a meritorious medal on him.
According to Incheon city officials, Song asked Putin to play a go-between in the North Korean nuclear standoff by proposing a peace treaty or a non-aggression pact between Washington and Pyongyang.
Putin concurred with song's view, calling it a "good idea," Incheon city officials said, adding that the Russian President also stressed the importance of dialogue between South and North Korea.
In a verbal message sent through the mayor to South Korean President-elect Park Geun-hye, Putin also hoped for progress in Russia's proposal to pipe Russian natural gas to South Korea through North Korea, the officials said.
Putin also renewed Russia's proposal to connect trans-Siberian railway with inter-Korean railway, they said.
Those projects, supported by South Korea, have been in limbo due to inter-Korean tensions. South Korea believes that the projects, if pushed through, would help its economy. South Korea is a major consumer of natural gas.