|2017 Korea-Russia summit Korea Times file|
By Do Je-hae
President Moon Jae-in is likely to hold a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin as early as the second quarter of this year, according to a key Cheong Wa Dae official, Wednesday.
"This year is the 30th anniversary of the establishment of Korea-Russia relations. There are some bilateral issues that need to be discussed, such as Putin's visit to Korea," Kim Hyon-chong, second deputy director of the presidential National Security Office (NSO), said at an airport in Moscow, Wednesday.
"President Putin will be visiting Korea and we need to talk some more about the details of the visit."
The last time the two leaders met was at the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, in June 2019. At the time, Moon invited Putin to visit Korea.
Quoting a ruling party official, a local daily reported that the Russian leader's visit may take place in May. Cheong Wa Dae is eyeing the visit as an opportunity to advance one of Moon's key diplomatic strategies called the New Northern Policy, intended to strengthen relations with countries situated north of the Korean Peninsula.
In a New Year address last month, Moon underlined his focus on diversifying Korea's diplomacy by accelerating his New Northern and New Southern policies. The New Southern Policy is aimed at deepening ties with countries in Southeast Asia.
"Russia is a core partner in our New Northern Policy," Moon said during the New Year's address. "We believe that this year, which marks the 30th anniversary of bilateral ties, will bring our New Northern diplomacy to a new level."
The two countries will host various events to mark the landmark year in bilateral relations, according to the Presidential Committee on Northern Economic Cooperation, Tuesday.