RISS and the Republic of Korea experts discussed the situation in the Korean Peninsula

A meeting with a delegation of the Ministry of Unification of the Republic of Korea was held on March 31, 2016 in the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies. The meeting was dedicated to discussion of the current situation in the Korean Peninsula, estimation of the state and prospects of inter-Korean dialogue, problems of integration processes running in the territory of Eurasia. RISS was represented by Director L. Reshetnikov, Chief Advisor to the Director K. Kokarev, Deputy Head of Centre for Asia and the Middle East B. Volkhonsky, senior research fellows of the Centre L. Gladchenko and V. Svedentsov. The Korean delegation was headed by the Director of the Department of Economic and Social Analysis of the Ministry of Unification of RK Mr. Nam Jeong U.

During his welcome speech, RISS Director L. Reshetnikov noted the importance of the Republic of Korea in maintaining stability in the Asian-Pacific region. Experts of RISS and the Ministry of Unification of the Republic of Korea expressed the common point of view that the process of two Korean states unification had to be exceptionally peaceful, and the final unification of two states would be possible only in terms of mutual respect and gradual peaceful approach of positions of two parties. In addition, experts shared the view that mitigation of intensity of confrontational eloquence and increasing in number of mutual economic projects between two Korean states would result in growth of attractiveness of different integration projects of Russia, China, and the Republic of Korea implemented in the territory of «Big Eurasia». In particular, the implementation of the «Eurasian Initiative» of the President of the RK Park Geun-hye is impossible without stabilizing situation in the Korean Peninsula.

On the previous day, March 30, the delegation of the Ministry of Unification of Korea visited RISS Regional Centre for Asian-Pacific Studies in Vladivostok and met Head of the Centre A. Gubin. Discussion dealt with prospects of inter-Korean dialogue and the role of Russia in light of recent destabilization of situation in the region after regular nuclear-weapon tests and missiles launching of DPRK.

Nam Jeong U told that executives of the Republic of Korea had to agree to closing of Kaesong joint economic zone that had substantial prospects for the inter-Korean economic cooperation. He mentioned that the reasons of zone closing were tests conducted in North Korea violated the UN Security Council resolution.

Special regret is aroused by refusal of Seoul from participation in the Russian-North Korean project «Khasan-Rajin» providing the development of the transport route to supply North-Korean natural resources to RF, and the transit of Chinese and North-Korean cargo. Representatives of the Ministry of Unification expressed their hope for continuation of the Russian-North Korean commercial-economic and investment cooperation, including in the Far East, even in conditions of implementation difficulty of previously planned tripartite transport and infrastructure projects in the Korean Peninsula. However, owing to instability growth in the North-East Asia, Moscow and Seoul will have to apply additional efforts to stimulate both mutual goods turnover, and inflow rate of Korean investments into Far-Eastern regions of Russia.