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‘Korea is our largest economic partner in Asia-Pacific with $18.9 bil. in turnover’Cites Ambassador Timonin of the Russian Federation

By Publisher Lee Kyung-sik with Reporters Kim Jung-mi, Sua Kim, Won Hwi

“The Republic of Korea is our large economic partner in the Asia-Pacific region and in 2017 our bilateral trade turnover amounted to 18.9 billion dollars, having increased by 41.4% as compared to 2016.” This statement was made by Ambassador Alexander A. Timonin of the Russian Federation in Seoul at a reception he and Madam Natalia Timonin hosted at the Grand Hall of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Seoul on Feb. 6, 2018 in celebration of the Russian Diplomatic Service Day.
Ambassador Timonin then stated that the key areas of mutually beneficial economic cooperation with the Republic of Korea was the implementation of large-scale investment projects in the European part of the Russian Federation, as well as the creation of new industries in Siberia and the Russian Far East with the active use of advantages for foreign business within the Territory of Advanced Development and the Free Port of Vladivostok.

Ambassador Alexander Timonin of Russia (fourth from left) poses with Chairman Song Young-gil of the Presidential Committee on Northern Economic Cooperation (third from left), President Moon Sang-ju of Korea Occupational Training College (fifth from left) and other Korean guests.

“In this regard,” he said, “we highly appreciate the efforts of the President of the Republic of Korea, H.E. Mr. Moon Jae-in, who put forward the concept of ‘Nine Bridges,’ envisaging the intensification of economic interaction with Russia in such areas as gas industry, development of railway communications, creation of port infrastructure, electric power industry, development of the Northern Sea Route, shipbuilding, agricultural production and fisheries.”
Ambassador Timonin then stated, “The supervision of the work in these areas was entrusted to the newly created Committee on Northern Economic Cooperation, headed by the experienced Korean politician and longtime friend of Russia, the lawmaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea, Mr. Son Yong-kil.” (See excerpts from the speech of Ambassador Timonin at the end of this report.)

Ambassador Alexander Timonin of the Russian Federation makes a welcome speech at a reception he and Madam Timonin hosted at the Grand Hall of the Embassy of Russia in Seoul on Feb. 6, 2018 in celebration of the Russian Diplomatic Service Day.

The reception was held at the Grand Hall of the Embassy near the Deoksu Palace
The location of the Russian Embassy in Seoul on the west and vicinity of the Deoksu Palace in Seoul, to the Korean people, is a sheer reminder of how the Russian government in 1986 protected the then King Gojong of the Korean Empire from the imperialist Japanese Army who wanted to attack and control the Korean peninsula. Had Russia at the time won the Russo-Japanese War the Korean peninsula would have saved the ordeal and deprivation forced upon the Korean people by the Japanese Empire for 36 years from 1910 to 1945 when Korea was liberated by the Allied Forces of the United States, the Soviet Union, the Republic of Korea and other countries. (See a summary of Russian protection of the Korean Empire at the end of this report.)

Chairman Song Young-gil of the Presidential Committee on Northern Economic Cooperation delivers a congratulatory speech.

The reception was attended by many Korean celebrities from all walks of life, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They included Chairman Song Young-gil of the Presidential Committee on Northern Economic Cooperation, Deputy Foreign Minister Yoon Soon-gu and various other dignitaries.
At the entrance of the reception venue were 500 copies of the Korean-language newspaper on two tables put together provided by The Korea Post media for the guests to take a copy each free of charge.
The February 5, 2018 issue of the 20-page Korean-language newspaper of The Korea Post covered the Russian Federation on its front cover page, the second page and the third page to introduce the Korean-Russian relations, friendship and cooperation

Deputy Minister of Foregin Affaurs Yoon Soon-gu makes a congratulatory speech.

(http://pdf.koreapost.co.kr/38/3801.pdf, http://pdf.koreapost.co.kr/38/3802.pdf http://pdf.koreapost.co.kr/38/3803.pdf
They where also covered by the Korean-language Internet edition (http://www.koreapost.co.kr/), English edition (http://www.koreapost.com/), Korean-language newspaper (http://www.koreapost.co.kr/pdf/list.php) and English E-daily (http://www.koreapost.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=5912) as wellas in the 33-year-old English monthly magazine, The Korea Post, (http://www.koreapost.com/cover/coverList.html).

A total of 500 copies of the Korean-language newspaper of The Korea Post media are on display at the entrance of the Grand Hall of the Russian Embassy for the guests to take a copy each. The front, second and third pages of the 20-page Korean-language newspaper were reserved for the publication of a Special Report on the Russian Federation.

Excerpts from the welcome speech of Ambassador Timonin:
Esteemed Chairman of the Committee on Northern Economic Cooperation Mr. Song Yong-kil,
Esteemed Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Soongu Yoon!
Esteemed heads of diplomatic missions in Republic of Korea!
Ladies and gentlemen!
I am delighted to welcome all of you at the traditional reception in the Russian Embassy on the Russian Diplomatic Service Day.
On this day the Russian diplomatic service summarizes its work during the last year, outlines tasks for the future. Once again, we have to note that the year of 2017 was not an easy one in the sphere of foreign policy. Numerous hotbeds of tension were preserved in various regions of the world - from the Middle East and North Africa to the neighboring Ukraine. We continued searching for the ways to resolve Syrian and Korean issues.

Ambassador Alexander Timonin of Russia (far right) attends a meeting hosted by Chairperson Chu Mi-ae of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea on the theme of “We will uphold the National Assembly of Five Important Taslks (man, national security, livelihood, local autonomy and future)."

Nevertheless, some countries made statements aimed at disrupting the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action for the settlement of Iran's nuclear problem. The last year has confirmed the preservation of forces that still manage things in the international community by means of dictates and ultimatums, ignoring the position of their partners as well as the reality of the emerging multipolar world.
Under such complicated conditions, Russia made utmost efforts to protect its national interests and security of its citizens. At the same time, we did everything in order to strengthen international law based on the principles of the UN Charter. Our country defended the universal values of justice, equal and mutually respectful cooperation, sought to prevent the degradation of a seriously unbalanced system of the world order and to escape its sliding to chaos and confrontation.

The food and beverage, which were excellent in quality and preparation, were prepared by the Millennium Seoul Hitlon Hotel. No wonder! General Manager Jay Lee of the Hotel (left) stayed at the venue all but from the beginning till the end to make sure all the guests were happy with the evening repast.

I would like to note, that despite complicated political and economic situation in the world, the last year has become fruitful for the Russian Federation and the Republic of Korea, which marked the 27th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties. The Russian-Korean summit held in Vladivostok in September 2017, contacts of the heads of foreign ministries and the leaders of legislative bodies strengthened our bilateral partnership relations and outlined cooperation’s benchmarks for the upcoming years.
The Republic of Korea is still our large and prospective economic partner in the Asia-Pacific region. In 2017 our bilateral trade turnover amounted to 18.9 billion dollars, having increased by 41.4% as compared to 2016. The key areas of mutually beneficial economic cooperation with South Korea are the implementation of large-scale investment projects in the European part of the Russian Federation, as well as the creation of new industries in Siberia and the Russian Far East with the active use of advantages for foreign business within the Territory of Advanced Development and the Free Port of Vladivostok.

Officers at the Russian Embassy (left and second from left) read the Korean-language newspaper of The Korea Post media where the front, second and third pages of the 20-page Korean-language newspaper were reserved for the publication of a Special Report on the Russian Federation. Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post (third from left) left explains how fast the Korean-language newspaper of The Korea Post is gaining popularity among the Korean readers who expeience a severe dirth of first-hand international news, especially those generated by the foreign embassies in Seoul.

In this regard, we highly appreciate the efforts of the President of the Republic of Korea, H.E. Mr. Moon Jae-in, who put forward the concept of "nine bridges", envisaging the intensification of economic interaction with Russia in such areas as gas industry, development of railway communications, creation of port infrastructure, electric power industry, development of the Northern Sea Route, shipbuilding, agricultural production and fisheries. The supervision of the work in these areas was entrusted to the newly created Committee on Northern Economic Cooperation, headed by the experienced Korean politician and longtime friend of Russia, the lawmaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea, Mr. Son Yong-kil.

From Left: Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post; Ambassadors Vikram Kumar Doraiswami of India), Abida Islam of Bangladesh and Manisha Gunasekera of Sri Lanka; CEO Kim Joong-do of the Andre Kim Fashion Boutique; and Ambassador Nozuko Gloria Bam of South Africa.

The Russian Federation and the Republic of Korea fruitfully interact not only in the economy, but also in the world arena, within the UN and other international organizations. In this regard, we are looking forward to further joint work aimed at the resolving of acute global issues, including those related to the stabilization of the situation in Northeast Asia and the solution of the nuclear problem of the Korean peninsula. Our two States condemned nuclear tests of the DPRK, which exacerbated tensions in the region. At the same time, supporting the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council 2371 and 2397, the Russian side believes that the continued pulling of US strategic forces and weapons to the Korean peninsula, including large-scale joint exercises of the United States and the ROK, also had very negative consequences for regional stability and security. The deployment of THAAD missile defense system on the territory of the Republic of Korea as well as the demonstration of "military muscles" on the Korean peninsula greatly narrows the possibilities of normalizing the situation in the region and establishing inter-korean dialogue.

Mrs. Konul Teymurova, chairperson of the Association of the Ambassadors' Spouses, left, poses with CEO Kim Joong-do of the Andre Kim Fashion Boutique in Seoul.

In this regard, Russia welcomes positive developments in the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Inter-Korean contacts, held in January this year at various levels, resulted with the achievement of important agreements on joint participation of the ROK and North Korea in Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang. We hope that their implementation will serve to de-escalate tensions in Korea and ensure peace in Northeast Asia. We do believe that all interested parties will support the steps of Seoul and Pyongyang aimed at the resumption of dialogue. For its part, Russia is ready to render all possible assistance to this process.

Ambassador Alexander Timonin of Russia (Eighth from left) poses with Korean dignitaries visiting Russia.

We also hope that the continuation of rapprochement between South and North Korea after the Olympic Games in Pyeongchang will allow all of us to begin practical solution of the main joint task. I mean the settlement of the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula. This is the basic aim of the "road map" developed by Russia jointly with China for a comprehensive settlement of the problems of Korea. In accordance with this document, the US and the DPRK are supposed not to engage in dangerous military activity in order to create relevant atmosphere for starting negotiations with the ultimate goal of the formation of collective peace and security system in Northeast Asia.

Ambassador and Mrs. Alexander Timonin of Russia (11th and 10th from left) pose with former Prime Minister Lee Hong-koo (8th from left) and other dignitaries.
Successive ambassadors of the Russian Federation on display at the Russian Embassy in Seoul.
The ambience of the reception was lively with songs presented by Korean men and women vocalists. Ambassador Timonin is seen at right.
A partial view of the facade of the Russian Embassy in Seoul.

Kim Su-a  edt@koreapost.com

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