Asia Pacific / Politics

Senior North Korean diplomat arrives in Russia as possibility of Putin-Kim summit looms

Kyodo

A North Korean delegation led by a deputy foreign minister has arrived in Russia, possibly to prepare for a summit between the two countries.

Vice Foreign Minister Sin Hong Chol’s departure from Pyongyang on Saturday comes as speculation grows that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un may make an official trip to Russia in the not-so-distant future.

According to the Russian Embassy in North Korea, talks between Sin and Igor Morgulov, deputy minister of foreign affairs, are slated to be held Monday.

The delegation was seen off by Russian Ambassador to North Korea Alexander Matsegora at Pyongyang’s airport.

Upon his arrival at Beijing’s international airport, Sin was tight-lipped when asked about the purpose of his trip to Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has invited Kim for a formal meeting, as denuclearization negotiations between North Korea and the United States have stalled.

A diplomatic source in Beijing said Kim may visit Russia sometime next month.

Pyongyang and Moscow marked the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations on Oct. 12.