Putin calls S. Korea important partner in meeting with PM Lee

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that South Korea is a very important partner and he's satisfied with the way relations between the two countries have moved forward.

Putin made the remark during a meeting with South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum in Russia's Far East city of Vladivostok, noting steady increases in trade and economic cooperation between the two countries, according to South Korean officials.

Putin said trade volume increased 27 percent last year and 8 percent in the first half of this year.

Putin also said that Russia is trying to flesh out the idea of "nine bridges" that President Moon Jae-in suggested at last year's Eastern Economic Forum. It refers to nine key areas of cooperation between the two countries, including shipbuilding, gas, railways, electricity and agriculture.

Lee delivered Moon's regards to Putin, saying that Moon wanted to attend this year's forum too but sent him on his behalf because he's all tied up with issues about dialogue with North Korea.

Putin also asked Lee to deliver his regards to Moon.

Lee also told Putin that South Korea is grateful for Putin's help with efforts to move relations between the two countries forward and to realize denuclearization and peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Lee also delivered Moon's invitation to visit South Korea at an early date.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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