Park seeks Putin's help in resolving nuclear crisis with North Korea

Sept. 7, 2013 at 11:19 AM
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ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, Sept. 7 (UPI) -- South Korean Prime Minister Park Geun-hye says she has asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to help resolve the standoff over North Korea's nuclear program.

Park and Putin spoke together after the end of a two-day summit of the world's top 20 economic and emerging countries hosted by Russia, Yonhap news agency reported Saturday.

The prime minister said trade between Seoul and Moscow had increased 110 percent since the countries established relations in 1990. The gains could have been even more, Park said, if they had not been sidetracked by North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

She also pushed for Russian participation in joint projects such as railway service between the southern South Korean city of Busan, through Russia and into Europe. Such a route would have to pass through North Korea.

Park later told a group of South Koreans living in Russia that Russia's support was critical to bringing a lasting peace between Seoul and Pyongyang.

Putin called South Korea one of Russia's key partners in Asia. Trade between the countries had grown to $25 billion annually, increasing 3 percent in the first half of 2013.

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