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South Korean President’s Warning on North Korea’s Military Cooperation

South Korean President’s Warning on North Korea’s Military Cooperation

South Korean President’s Warning on North Korea’s Military Cooperation

South Korean President’s Warning on North Korea’s Military Cooperation

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  • Concerns arise as North Korea talks with Russia.
  • Immediate halt urged for cooperation that harms world peace.
  • South Korea aims to resume talks with Japan and China for better relations.
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South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol has voiced his concerns about any military cooperation with North Korea that could undermine international peace. He made this statement during a summit meeting with Southeast Asia’s ASEAN countries in Jakarta, Indonesia. While his office did not provide further details, this comment comes in light of reports suggesting ongoing arms negotiations between North Korea and Russia and a potential meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Yoon emphasized the need to halt any attempts at military collaboration with North Korea if it threatens global peace. Reports of arms negotiations between North Korea and Russia have been denied by both parties. However, there have been indications of Kim Jong Un’s planned visit to Russia’s Vladivostok to discuss potential weapons supply, particularly for the conflict in Ukraine, as reported by The New York Times. Russia’s defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, also mentioned plans for joint military exercises.

During a subsequent meeting with ASEAN leaders, which included Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Chinese Premier Li Qiang, Yoon expressed South Korea’s commitment to working closely with its Asian neighbors to resume three-way talks aimed at improving regional ties. These talks have been on hold since 2019 due to tensions, largely related to Japan’s historical actions during World War II.

Yoon also called for vigilance to prevent illicit North Korean activities that fund its nuclear and missile programs. This includes activities such as sending workers abroad to earn foreign currency. A UN Security Council resolution from 2017, supported by China, mandates that member countries repatriate all North Korean workers and refrain from hiring them again.

North Korea has been gradually reopening in recent weeks, with increased train crossings and the resumption of flights, particularly with China. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, China hosted the largest number of North Korean workers abroad, with up to half of an estimated 100,000 people generating over $500 million annually.

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