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North Korean leader Kim confirms interest in visiting Russia, lawmaker says

Reuters

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has confirmed his readiness to visit Russia, the RIA news agency quoted Valentina Matvienko, the speaker of the upper house of the Russian parliament, as saying after she met him in Pyongyang on Saturday.

Kim “wants peace,” Matvienko said after the meeting, which lasted for more than an hour. The timing and place of Kim’s visit will be agreed via diplomatic channels, the Russian lawmaker added.

“He confirmed he is ready and willing to make an official visit to Russia,” RIA quoted Matvienko as saying. “He said he does not want to delay (the visit).”

“He said: meeting the president of Russia is very important to me, we should discuss the strategy and prospects of our cooperation, I of course would also like to discuss a number of important questions of the global agenda,” she said.

Matvienko also said she had passed a message to Kim from President Vladimir Putin. She did not provide any further details.

Kim will not able to attend a forum in the Russian Far Eastern city of Vladivostok this week but will send a delegation of North Korean officials, Matvienko said.

North Korea is in talks with the United States about a step-by-step execution of commitments reached when Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump met at a summit in Singapore in June, another news agency, Interfax, reported, citing Matvienko.