Fri May 12, 2017 3:59PM
Russian President Vladimir Putin (Photo by AFP)
Russian President Vladimir Putin (Photo by AFP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin says Moscow is ready to help calm down tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

In a 20-minute phone call on Friday, President Putin told his newly elected South Korean counterpart, Moon Jae-in, that the Kremlin was ready to extend aid to Seoul.

The Blue House, South Korea's presidential office, said Putin had expressed Russia's full readiness to play a "constructive role" in resolving the international dispute with North Korea.

Tensions have been mounting in the region over North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, which Pyongyang sees as a deterrent against a potential invasion by its adversaries.

Moon, however, is a liberal who advocates a more conciliatory approach to North Korea compared with his conservative predecessor.

In the phone call he expressed hope for North Korea to end its nuclear and missile programs and go the way of denuclearization.

South Korea's President Moon Jae-in (Photo by AFP)

Moon said he would make necessary efforts "to begin [peace] talks quickly between North and South Korea as well as the six-party talks." He was referring to peace talks involving the United States, China, Japan, Russia and the two Koreas.

Moon also expressed hope that the two countries would be able to cooperate in developing East Asia, including extending a natural gas pipeline from Siberia to South Korea, the Blue House said.

Putin said he was prepared to cooperate in all the discussed fields, according to the Blue House.

The Blue House added that the two leaders had invited each other for state visits.

Moon said he would send a special envoy to Moscow soon.

The two leaders said they looked forward to meeting each other face to face at the Group of 20 summit meeting in Germany in July.

North Korea has threatened South Korea and its main ally the United States of fierce retaliation in response to any sort of military aggression.