S Korea-Russia-summit

SEOUL, May 19 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and Russia are in talks for a summit meeting later this year on the sidelines of a multinational conference in the Eurasian country, Seoul's ambassador to Moscow said Sunday.

Wi Sung-lac, the South Korean ambassador to Russia, told reporters that the G20 Summit, scheduled for Sept. 5-6 in Saint Petersburg, may serve as an opportunity to set up the first summit talks between South Korean President Park Geun-hye and her Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.

"We're discussing the schedule with Russia," Wi said. "The summit talks could come during the G20 meeting, or before or after the G20 session."

Wi noted that Russia puts great emphasis on peace and stability in Asia in order to maintain its influence in Far East development. This explains why Moscow is opposed to North Korea's provocations, the ambassador added.

"Russia is interested in resuming international talks for denuclearization (of North Korea)," Wi said, referring to the now-stalled six-party talks involving the two Koreas, Russia, China, Japan and the United States. Wi had been Seoul's chief nuclear envoy before assuming his Russia post in November 2011.

"Russia is trying to play its role as far as creating conditions for resumption of such talks," Wi added. "In the past, Russia has tried to revive nuclear talks. It's possible Russia will do the same at an appropriate juncture."

According to Wi, Russia believes that Pyongyang has committed its latest provocations, in the forms of a nuclear test and multiple missile launches, in order to strengthen Kim Jong-un's grip on power and solidify the communist regime.

Wi said the young North Korean leader is unlikely to visit Russia in 2013, pointing out that Moscow has taken a relatively firm stance on Pyongyang at the U.N. Security Council, such as when it imposed sanctions on the North following its provocations.

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