Less than 2 weeks before Trump-Kim talks, Russian foreign minister visits North Korea
After the US, China, the two Koreas and Japan, it's time for Russia to make its presence felt in the Korean peace process. On Thursday, May 31, Russian Foreign Minister Sregei Lavrov visited North Korean capital Pyongyang, less than two weeks ahead of the possible summit between North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump in Singapore to talk over peace in the Korean Peninsula. North Korea's state media KCNA said this.
Lavrov's visit to Pyongyang took place at a time when Kim's close aide Kim Yong Chol went to the US to meet US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Pompeo tweeted about his "good working dinner" with Kim, who is the most senior official from North Korea to visit the US in almost two decades, on Wednesday, May 30, and they were set to meet again on Thursday.
Lavrov visited Pyongyang at the invitation of North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, the KCNA news agency said. Though the North Korean agency did not divulge any more details, Russia's TASS news agency said Lavrov, who paid a visit to North Korea for the first time since 2009, and Ri had already started their talks at Pyongyang's Supreme People's Assembly building, AFP reported.
The Russian foreign ministry had said earlier that the two sides were likely to talk on important bilateral relations as well international and regional issues, AFP added.
It also said that Lavrov had a telephonic talk with Pompeo for the first time on Wednesday, ahead of the latter's dinner with the top North Korean official.
Although there is no shortage of diplomatic parleys over North Korea's denuclearisation, American intelligence agency CIA has recently said in its analysis that North Korea is unlikely to give up its nuclear weapons, contradicting the hope that President Trump expressed over the same.