Moscow tells Seoul to rethink ‘confrontational course’

Posted on : 2024-06-28 17:18 KST Modified on : 2024-06-28 17:18 KST
Russia’s deputy foreign minister voiced concerns over “unacceptable ant-Russian remarks” in a meeting with South Korea’s ambassador in Moscow
Andrey Rudenko, the deputy minister of foreign affairs of Russia. (TASS/Yonhap)
Andrey Rudenko, the deputy minister of foreign affairs of Russia. (TASS/Yonhap)

South Korea’s ambassador to Russia met with Russia’s deputy foreign minister in Moscow on Wednesday to discuss North Korea and Russia’s recent signing of a comprehensive strategic partnership treaty that effectively restored a military alliance between the two. 

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko urged the South Korean government to reconsider its “confrontational course” in a meeting with Ambassador Lee Do-hoon at the Russian Foreign Ministry building in Moscow on Wednesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

According to a summary of the two diplomats’ meeting on the Russian Foreign Ministry’s website, Rudenko voiced “concern over unacceptable anti-Russian remarks made by high-ranking Republic of Korea officials” about the treaty signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un during their summit in Pyongyang on June 19.

Rudenko said that “responsibility for destroying a constructive partnership that had been decades in the making” fell on South Korea’s current leadership, placing the blame for the two countries’ worsening relations on the administration of Yoon Suk-yeol.

The South Korean ambassador responded by expressing grave concerns about Russia’s new treaty with North Korea, stressing that any cooperation that enables North Korea to strengthen its military is a “grave threat” to South Korea’s national security, and asked the Russians to clearly explain itself, South Korea’s Foreign Ministry said in a press release on Thursday.

“The Russian side expressed regret about South Korea’s response to [Putin’s] recent visit to North Korea and explained that their recent cooperation with North Korea is not aimed at South Korea. They also said the treaty is a defensive one that would only take effect in the event of an invasion. The two sides agreed to continue necessary dialogue based on the meeting,” South Korea’s Foreign Ministry added.

On Tuesday, the 74th anniversary of the Korean War, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol criticized the Pyongyang-Moscow treaty as an overt violation of UN Security Council resolutions.

South Korean national security adviser Chang Ho-jin sent a strong warning message on June 23 by announcing that Seoul would reconsider supplying lethal weapons to Ukraine. “If Russia provides North Korea with advanced precision weaponry, we would have no more reason to abide by any restrictions,” he said.

By Jang Ye-ji, staff reporter; Park Min-hee, senior staff writer

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