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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Korean Visit Successful

VLADIVOSTOK, Far East -- South Korean President Kim Young-sam held trade talks with officials in the Russian Far East before leaving for Seoul on Tuesday on the last day of a week-long visit to Russia. "The future of the Pacific region depends on Russia's Far East," Kim said at dinner hosted by the investment-hungry Maritime Territory governor, Yevgeny Nazdratenko. "The Far East is becoming the center of Russian-Korean relations." Nazdratenko plugged the region's "vast natural resources and skilled labor" as fertile ground for South Korean ventures. The South Korean President also met with representatives of 60,000 ethnic Koreans whose families emigrated to the Russian Far East a century ago. Kim had flown to Vladivostok from Khabarovsk, where he spoke about establishing a special economic zone and promised to help set up a factory to build buses in Russia's Far East. Security was tight during Kim's visit in Vladivostok, with Korean officials fearing possible action by North Korea. Kim arrived in Russia on June 1 for talks with President Boris Yeltsin and Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin. He and Yeltsin also urged North Korea to cooperate with international inspectors monitoring the development of the former Soviet ally's nuclear program. On his arrival back in Seoul, Kim was generally upbeat about his trip saying it had "opened a new historical horizon in relations of the two countries. "We have closed an era of confrontation and laid a firm foundation of cooperation," Kim said.