Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Engages in Security Talks with South Korea Amid Tensions Over North Korea

SEOUL — In a significant diplomatic engagement, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister, Andrey Rudenko, visited Seoul for discussions with South Korean officials on regional security, the Ukrainian conflict, and bilateral relations.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the talks, held on Friday, brought Rudenko together with South Korea's Deputy Foreign Minister Chung Byung-won, focusing on pressing issues including the war in Ukraine and the dynamics of Korea-Russia ties.

The dialogue underscored South Korea's concerns over Russia's military engagement with North Korea, with Chung Byung-won advocating for Moscow's responsible conduct and cooperation to safeguard the rights of South Korean businesses and nationals within Russian territory. Additionally, Rudenko's itinerary included meetings with First Vice Foreign Minister Kim Hong-kyun and South Korea's chief nuclear negotiator, Kim Gunn. These discussions emphasized the necessity for Russia to adhere to its commitments under United Nations Security Council resolutions, particularly regarding the cessation of military cooperation with Pyongyang—a matter that threatens the security of both the Korean Peninsula and Europe.

The visit occurs against the backdrop of strained relations between Seoul and Moscow, fueled by South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol's recent critical remarks on North Korea, which he labeled an "irrational group" and highlighted as the sole nation to codify the preemptive use of nuclear weapons. Russia, reacting through Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, condemned Yoon's comments as "blatantly biased," prompting the Seoul Foreign Ministry to summon the Russian Ambassador to South Korea, Georgy Zinoviev, to express their protest.

This diplomatic exchange marks a pivotal moment in Korea-Russia relations, spotlighting the complex interplay of regional security concerns, international diplomacy, and the ongoing tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

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