Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev said Tuesday the Central Asian country will continue to support South Korea on issues related to the Korean Peninsula, as the leaders of two Koreas are set to hold a rare summit next week, Seoul's foreign ministry said.
Nazarbaev also expressed hopes that the North's nuclear issue will be resolved through the upcoming inter-Korean meeting and the following summit between Washington and Pyongyang.
The president made the remarks during his meeting with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha, who was on a three-day trip to Central Asia to deepen bilateral ties with countries in the region, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Kazakhstan, a nonpermanent member of the U.N. Security Council, was the first leg of her trip that will also take her to Uzbekistan, the ministry said.
Nazarbaev said that Kazakhstan has been keep encouraging North Korea to voluntarily denuclearize, adding that the Central Asian country could earn national security, foreign investment and the respect from the international community by giving up its nuclear weapons.
South Korea plans to hold a summit with North Korea on April 27 to discuss denuclearization and peace on the peninsula.
Kang explained the situations that led to the recent breakthroughs in bringing the North to talks to the Kazakh leader and delivered South Korean President Moon Jae-in's message to strengthen bilateral cooperation down the road.
The South Korean foreign minister also met with her Kazakh counterpart, Kairat Abdrakhmanov, and discussed ways to deepen their mutually beneficial relations, including cooperation in the energy and resources sectors.
The latest visit to Kazakhstan was the first by a South Korean foreign minister in eight years, according to the Seoul's ministry.