South Korean President visits Central Asia

RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 13 Jun 2024 by Alex Teddy

On June 10 the Korean President visited his counterpart in Turkmenistan. They discussed transport, energy and the environment. On June 12 he met the Kazakh President. Agreements were signed on the chemical industry, oil and gas. This coincided with the Kazakh Korean Business Forum. There is a significant Korean community in Kazakhstan. Koreans living in the Soviet Far East were sent by Stalin to Central Asia in the 1930s because he did not trust them to live close to Korea. The Kazakh Koreans are often highly successful in business. China has been Kazakhstan's biggest trade partner for over 10 years. China is North Korea's principal ally. China is not entirely happy with Kazakhstan coquetting with South Korea. However, Beijing manages to have a civilized relationship with Seoul. The two countries do significantly trade and South Korea views China as a restraining influence on North Korea. On June 13 the South Korean President visited Uzbekistan. The presidents of the two countries are due to sign agreements on electronics, energy, trade and education.

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