President Lee Myung-bak, who is in Russia to take part in this year's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit, met with Russian President Vladmir Putin Saturday morning.
This is the first time the two leaders have met since Putin took office again in May.
The two agreed on the need to resolve North Korea's nuclear issue to boost development in the Russian Far East and strengthen their bilateral economic cooperation.
They agreed to work together in pushing ahead with a gas pipeline that would run from Russia to South Korea through North Korea as well as in other sectors, including fisheries, electricity and railway projects.
[Interview : President Lee Myung-bak] "Our bilateral relationship has greatly improved amid the ongoing global economic crisis. And I hope that the two nations can cooperate to create new opportunities to further boost this relationship."
[Reporter : Vladmir Putin, Russian President] "We have recently promoted cooperation through political discussions. We see bright prospects for our future relationship."
To further encourage investment in each other's country and promote labor flow between the two, Presidents Lee and Putin decided that negotiations will begin on signing a visa waiver program and a social security agreement as soon as possible.
Later in the day, President Lee took part in the first session of the APEC Summit, where leaders from 21 countries dicussed ways to intergrate the regional economies through the Free-Trade Area of the Asia Pacific, or FTAAP and to diversify supply chains in the region.
The Korean president shook hands with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda before sitting next to him during the meeting, which drew much attention because of current tensions between the two nations.
[Reporter : Eoh Jin-joo
email@example.com] "President Lee is scheduled to meet with Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Sunday morning, before attending the second session of the APEC Summit. There, President Lee is expected to make a keynote speech on food security, one of the top agenda items at this year's meeting.
Eoh Jin-joo, Arirang News, Vladivostok."