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Presidents Park & Putin seek ways to expand economic cooperation Updated: 2013-11-14 06:36:05 KST

 Presidents Park & Putin seek ways to expand economic cooperation
The summit agenda this time around was focused on economic cooperation.
The two leaders agreed to support Seoul's participation in a joint railway project between North Korea and Russia.
The 54 kilometer-long railway would run between Russia's eastern border town of Khasan and the North Korean port city of Rajin.
A Korean consortium comprised of Korail, POSCO and Hyundai Merchant Marine, plans to invest around 210 billion won, or 196 million U.S. dollars, in the project.
Whether Korean companies will actually take part in this project has yet to be decided, but if they do participate, it would represent an opportunity to initiate three-way projects with North Korea and Russia, laying the foundation for Pyongyang to eventually open up.
The two nations also decided to set up joint funds worth three billion dollars to financially support Korean and Russian companies.


"We welcome the joint investment and financing platform that will encourage Korean and Russian firms to participate in development projects in Russia's Far East Siberian region, and we expect this platform to boost investment."


"Pundits say the agreements allowed President Park to take the first step towards her so-called Eurasia Initiative, which aims to create a massive, single market in Eurasia, combined with Russia's policy push focused on East Asia."

Other MOUs were signed for new cooperative projects in the sectors of shipbuilding and North Pole route development.
The two nations also signed a visa waiver agreement for visitors planning to stay in the other's country for 60 days or less.
When it came to North Korea, the Russian president threw full support behind President Park's trust-building process with the North, describing it as crucial in normalizing inter-Korean relations and maintaining stability in the region.
The importance of a quick resumption of the six-party denuclearization talks was also highlighted.


"Russia and Korea have a common goal of securing peace and safety on the peninsula and equally in other countries. This can only be achieved in the framework of the six-party dialogue."


The two sides, however, reaffirmed that they would not tolerate Pyongyang's nuclear development, and urged the communist state to abide by its international obligations and previous pledges.
Eoh Jin-joo, Arirang News.
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