Kim Jong Un to meet Vladimir Putin on visit to Russia
Meeting expected to take place in the far-eastern port of Vladivostock
North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un will visit Russia for talks with Vladimir Putin this month, the Kremlin said. Photograph: Getty Images
A date for the meeting was not immediately released.
The Kremlin said in a brief statement that Mr Kim would visit Russia “in the second half of April”, but gave no further details.
Moscow is interested in gaining broader access to North Korea’s mineral resources, including rare metals.
Pyongyang needs Russia’s electricity supplies and wants to attract Russian investment to modernise its Soviet-built industrial plants, railways and other infrastructure.
Mr Kim and US president Donald Trump have had two summits, but the latest, in Vietnam in February, collapsed because North Korea wanted more sanctions relief than Washington was willing to give for the amount of disarmament offered by Pyongyang.
As the standoff continued, North Korea last week announced that it had tested what it called a new type of “tactical guided weapon”.
While it is unlikely to be a prohibited test of a medium — or long-range ballistic missile that could scuttle the negotiations — the announcement signalled North Korea’s growing disappointment with the diplomatic breakdown and its apparent willingness to turn back to the kinds of missile tests that in 2017 had many in Asia fearing war.
North Korea also demanded that US secretary of state Mike Pompeo be removed from the talks, and on Saturday criticised White House national security adviser John Bolton for calling on North Korea to show more evidence of its disarmament commitment before a possible third leaders’ summit. – Reuters