South Korea summons Russian envoy over criticism of President Yoon’s remarks -foreign ministry

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol presides over the central integrated defence meeting in Seoul, South Korea, January 31, 2024. Yonhap via REUTERS/File Photo © Thomson Reuters

SEOUL (Reuters) – The South Korean foreign ministry on Saturday summoned Russia’s envoy in Seoul to lodge a complaint over Moscow’s criticism of recent remarks by South Korea President Yoon Suk-yeol on North Korea’s pursuit of a nuclear arsenal.

Jung Byung-won, South Korea’s deputy foreign minister for political affairs, summoned Russian Ambassador Georgy Zinoviev on Saturday afternoon to stress that Moscow lashing out at Yoon’s remarks would only have a negative impact on the relationship between the two countries.

The summons came after Yoon on Jan. 31 condemned Pyongyang’s development of nuclear weapons to maintain the current regime, which Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called “biased” and “odious” in a statement released days after.

“Deputy Minister Jeong said that it was very regrettable that Russia ignored the truth and unconditionally protected North Korea while criticizing the leader’s remarks in extremely rude language, and emphasized that this would only worsen Korea-Russia relations,” the ministry said in a statement.

Source: Reuters/Reporting by Cynthia Kim, Hyonhee Shin; Editing by Toby Chopra