Moon seeks expanded cooperation with Russia

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Moon seeks expanded cooperation with Russia

VLADIVOSTOK - President Moon Jae-in on Thursday proposed expanding economic cooperation between South Korea and Russia in a wide range of areas, including energy, infrastructure and agriculture, noting those projects might set an example of co-prosperity for isolated North Korea.

In his address to the third Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in Vladivostok, Moon also called for talks to build a Northeast Asia super grid to enhance region-wide energy cooperation, which would help meet growing power demands and lay the foundation for an envisioned economic community and multilateral security system.

“I suggest we realize simultaneous cooperation by placing nine bridges between Russia and South Korea,” Moon said in his keynote speech. “The nine bridges are gas, railway, seaports, electricity, Arctic shipping routes, shipbuilding, job creation, agriculture and fisheries.”

The South Korean leader said the nine sectors represented areas with great potential for cooperation between the two countries.

“South Korea is the world’s second-largest importer of gas. We wish to not only import gas from Russia but also take part in joint energy development projects,” he said.

The EEF is an annual regional economic summit hosted by Russia, aimed at promoting regional cooperation in developing Russia’s Far East.

Moon also proposed that regional leaders start talks for Northeast Asia energy links. He expressed support for Russia’s Energy Super Ring plan, which aims to build energy links between its Far East and Asia Pacific region, saying it would help create “the world’s largest energy community.”

“I wish to propose to all leaders in Northeast Asia to begin our discussions for the establishment of a super grid in Northeast Asia with a greater vision of forming a Northeast Asian economic bloc and a multilateral security system,” he said.

Such efforts may help peacefully resolve the North Korean nuclear issue in turn, Moon insisted.

“A few days ago, North Korea again made a provocation with its sixth nuclear test. It was an act that threatened not only peace on the Korean Peninsula but also peace in Northeast Asia,” the president said.

“I believe Northeast Asian countries working together to successfully develop the Far East may be another way of fundamentally resolving the North Korean nuclear issue,” he said. “If North Korea sees Northeast Asian countries succeed in economic cooperation, the North will realize its participation is in its best interest.”

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