South Korean president in Russia to boost economic ties

MOSCOW (AP) — South Korean President Moon Jae-in visited Moscow Friday on a trip intended to boost bilateral economic ties.

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Following Moon's talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin, officials from the two countries signed agreements on cooperation in various economic projects, energy, transport and innovative technologies.

Putin emphasized that South Korea is one of Russia's top partners in the region and voiced hope that their two-way trade will expand.

He hailed contacts between the two Koreas and the U.S.-North Korean summit.

"We hope that it would help significantly reduce tensions around the Korean Peninsula and create conditions for creating conditions for forming a stable security for all countries in the region," Putin said.

He vowed that Moscow also would try to help settle problems concerning North Korea.

Moon said Seoul was ready to promote a "strategic partnership" with Russia and paid homage to Russian culture, saying that he "fell in love with Russia after reading Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky."

He noted that Moscow and Seoul share a desire to further expand their ties.

The Kremlin has pushed for prospective trilateral economic projects involving Russia and both Koreas, including a railway link and a natural gas pipeline.