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S. Korea-Russia talks amid rising regional tensions: Analysis Updated: 2021-03-25 17:45:45 KST

"I express deep concern over North Korea's launch of what appeared to be short-range ballistic missiles, while our government is making various efforts to pursue over-fulfillment of complete denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula."

"I placed special emphasis on the importance of efforts to maintain peace and stability of Northeast Asia, including the Korean peninsula. This means all related countries need to abandon arms race and escalation of military activities of any form."

That's the foreign ministers of South Korea and Russia following their talks today in Seoul.
The talks held just hours after North Korea launched what Japan's Prime Minister and U.S. officials identify as short-range "ballistic missiles."
Seoul-Moscow talks amid rising regional tensions. It's the topic of our News In-depth tonight and joining us live in the studio is Dr. Kim Changsu, Research Fellow at the Korea Research Institute for National Strategy.
It's great to have you with us.

The Seoul-Moscow Foreign Ministers' meeting was held at quite a dynamic timing.
What's your overall assessment of the outcome?

There were no mention of N. Korea's missile launch from Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Rather he said all related countries in the region "need to abandon arms race and escalation of military activities of any form."
What can we make out of this? Could he be implying the U.S. and South Korea's weapons advancements and joint drills from the viewpoint of a unified anti-U.S., anti-West front?

China's response to North Korea's ballistic missile launch on top of North Korea's military activities after reaffirming ties with Beijing lead many to raise questions about how China may be complicit in sanctions evasion and may be enabling the Kim regime's threats to the region.
What are your thoughts?

Lavrov's visit to Seoul marks the first time in eight years. And it also comes right after he met with Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi where the two sides accused the U.S. of political interference on regional affairs. AND only days after the Biden team's new State and Defense Secretaries touched base with U.S. allies in this region in his first overseas trip.
What's the motive behind Lavrov's Seoul visit amid the pandemic?

The Biden administration is making bold moves to contain China boasting its alliance with the Western nations following its trip to South Korea and Japan and the rough U.S. China talks.
We've been seeing China, Russia and North Korea forming a united front of their own.
Are we facing a new cold war?
Will it impact the Moon administration's Korean Peninsula Peace Initiative?

Rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula leave little room for South Korea. As a national strategist, how do you think Seoul should balance its relations with Washington and Beijing while seeking denuclearization of North Korea?

Dr. Kim Changsu of Korea Research institute for National Strategy for us tonight. Thank you.
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