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HomeAsiaSouth Korean Foreign Minister Participates in Radio Free Asia

South Korean Foreign Minister Participates in Radio Free Asia

The South Korea government has informed Russia that it will not remain passive if Moscow transfers missile development technology to North Korea, according to South Korea’s foreign minister Park Jin.

During a parliament hearing on Friday, lawmaker Ha Tae-keung asked Park if Seoul discussed Moscow’s military support for Pyongyang with Russia, to which Park confirmed that they did.

Park’s comments were made in response to questions from Ha regarding the communication between the Russian Foreign Ministry and the South Korean embassy in Moscow after the Russia-North Korea summit last month.

When asked about Russia’s briefing to South Korea, Park said: “There was a dialogue on various issues to promote friendship and relations between the two countries (North Korea and Russia),” and added, “There were no specifics on military cooperation.”

Ha also repeatedly asked if Russia had agreed to provide the missile technology or weapons that North Korea was demanding. Park responded: “We have also asked Russia to confirm that.”

Park also mentioned that Seoul is closely monitoring the situation through various sources of information and has its own understanding of its development. However, he avoided providing specifics on the evidence of North Korea’s arms delivery to Russia.

Park’s remarks came after the United States and its allies issued a strong warning against Russia and North Korea as they confirmed an arms trade deal between the two countries, which could support Moscow’s aggression towards Ukraine.

“The United States, Japan, and the Republic of Korea (ROK) strongly condemn the provision of military equipment and munitions by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to the Russian Federation for use against the government and people of Ukraine,” the joint statement said Thursday, referring to the two Koreas’ formal names.

China’s repatriation of North Koreans

Additionally, Park mentioned that he has expressed his stance on North Korean defectors to Chinese Central Politburo member and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

“We conveyed our concerns through diplomatic channels and made it clear that North Korean defectors should not be forcibly repatriated,” Park said during the same hearing.

While emphasizing the importance of relations with China, Park highlighted that the issue of North Korean defectors is related to international human rights.

“We need to make efforts to help North Koreans go where they want to go, including to South Korea, so we are actively explaining South Korea’s position to China and urging China to play a constructive role,” he stated.

Earlier this month, Human Rights Watch reported that Chinese authorities forcibly returned over 500 North Koreans to the reclusive nation. Most of these individuals were civilians and religious leaders attempting to travel from China to South Korea, as reported by Radio Free Asia.

Edited by Mike Firn and Elaine Chan.

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