Russia will continue its policy of developing constructive friendly relations with both North and South Korea

Russia confirms its readiness to continue following the policy of developing friendly constructive relations with both North and South Korea, says a statement by Alexander Yakovenko, official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Following this policy, Russia will continue to make "an active contribution to settling Korean problems in conditions that will be stably peaceful and equally secure for all, and without any outside interference," says the statement.

Alexander Yakovenko noted in the statement, issued in time for the second anniversary of the summit between North Korea and South Korea, that Russia's contribution implies promotion of many-sided mutually advantageous economic cooperation projects, including that of linking together the railways of the south and north of the Korean peninsula and joining it with the Trans-Siberian mainline.

"The historic meeting of the leaders of North Korea and South Korea in Pyongyang, the second anniversary of which will be marked on June 15, has given rise to great expectations and hopes in all countries interested in a just Korean settlement," stressed Yakovenko.

"It would, of course, be too optimistic to hope for a cloudless development of the inter-Korean negotiating process after decades of mutual suspicion and distrust," he said. Nevertheless, said the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman, one can speak with confidence today of "the creation and consolidation of an atmosphere of stability and peace in Korea, the revival on a nationwide scale of the sentiments and striving in favour of the rapprochement and reunification of the country and the nation." The Russian side "consistently supports the agreements reached by the leaders of North and South Korea," stressed the diplomat.

The inter-Korean summit was held during the visit to Pyongyang, in 2000, of President Kim Dae-jun of the Republic of Korea who held there the historic meeting with the leader of North Korea Kim Jong-il. However, the top level dialogue between the North and the South has so far not had a continuation.

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