President Moon Jae-in said economic cooperation with northern countries will be the source of a new growth engine for Korea's economy, and that both Seoul and Moscow should continue bolstering their cooperation through exchanges on multiple fronts.
In the southeastern city of Pohang on Thursday, at the inaugural edition of a forum on interregional cooperation, President Moon shared his vision for both Korea and Russia as well as the Far East.
"Through peace on the Korean Peninsula, the government will strengthen the basis for three-way cooperation between the two Koreas and Russia. Russia's Far East will be the point where the Peninsula is linked to Eurasia for distribution and energy."
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The Korea-Russia Local Cooperation Forum was set up under the deal reached last year in Russia by Presidents Moon and Putin, and was initially aimed at building ties between the two countries in the fields of economy, commerce, culture and education.
It brings together representatives from 17 regions in Korea and 9 from Russia's Far Eastern Federal District.
Its first edition was held at Korea's biggest steel production center, where President Moon announced the "Pohang Declaration," in which the delegates agreed to five points, including cooperation in cutting-edge technology and the energy sector.
The two sides have also agreed to set up a standing secretariat to facilitate cooperation and agreed to get more regional governments to join the forum.
This is part of President Moon's "New Northern Policy," under which Seoul is seeking to step up economic cooperation with the vast Eurasian country in multiple fields like energy, shipbuilding and transportation alongside the detente with North Korea.
The annual meeting is scheduled to be hosted alternately by the two sides, with next year's session to be held in Vladivostok.
Shin Se-min, Arirang News.