Russia Welcomes North-South Korea Talks

MOSCOW, June 7 (RIA Novosti) – Moscow welcomes the news that North and South Korea are to start talks about a jointly-run industrial area, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

“We view this as a positive indication, particularly against the backdrop of recent tensions on the Korean peninsula” the Russian Foreign Ministry’s ambassador-at-large Grigory Logvinov said.

Located just inside North Korea, the Kaesong Industrial Complex is home to 123 South Korean factories employing about 53,000 North Korean workers.

Work there ceased in April, however, when North Korea withdrew all its workers as tension in the region escalated sharply, following additional UN sanctions imposed after North Korea carried out its third nuclear test in seven years in February.

“We hope this positive movement will become a sustained trend and lead to the renewal of the six-party talks,’ Logvinov added.

North and South Korea agreed in principle on Thursday to discuss joint projects and other issues such as family reunions and tourism.

The initiative is timed to mark “the anniversary of the June 15 joint declaration,” North Korean state news agency KCNA cited the country’s reunification committee as saying in a statement.

The joint declaration referred to was signed in 2000 following a bilateral summit, and ushered in a period of improved relations between the two states which technically remain “at war” since no peace treaty was signed when the Korean War ended in 1953.

Although no location has yet been agreed, the talks are slated to start on Sunday, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reports.


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