The Korea Herald


Russian envoy meets with Seoul official amid suspension of logistics project

By KH디지털2

Published : March 23, 2016 - 14:04

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Russia's envoy to South Korea met with a ranking Seoul government official on Wednesday to discuss situations on the divided peninsula following North Korea's nuclear and missile provocations, officials said.

The talks between Amb. Alexander Timonin and Vice Unification Minister Hwang Boo-gi came amid Seoul's decision to suspend a trilateral logistics project involving the two Koreas and Russia.

The so-called Rajin-Khasan logistics project calls for the shipment of Russian coal into South Korea through the North Korean port city of Rajin.

But South Korea has informed Russia that it has decided to put the project on hold as part of unilateral sanctions on Pyongyang in response to the North's nuclear test in January and long-range rocket launch in February.

The Unification Ministry said that the vice minister and Russian envoy extensively discussed various issues on the Korean Peninsula.

In response to Timonin's question over the outlook for the project, Hwang said that it will hinge on North Korea's attitude, according to the ministry.

But the government rejected media reports that they discussed a possible resumption of the project.

On March 8, Seoul unveiled its own sanctions against the North, including a ban on the entry of vessels into South Korea that have sailed to North Korea in the past 180 days.

South Korea's move would effectively put an indefinite suspension on the trilateral logistics project.

The South has suspended talks over whether to clinch a formal contract with Russia for the project since North Korea's long-range rocket launch, a move that outside experts view as a cover for a banned test of ballistic missile technology.

Russia has said that the project is not affected by the new sanctions of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), stressing the need to push ahead with it. (Yonhap)