As reported by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, will be travelling to Pyongyang for a visit with his North Korean counterpart tomorrow.
The agenda is set to cover relations between the two nations, as well as covering areas of regional and international concern.
The North Korean Foreign Minister, Ri Yong-ho, has recently visited Moscow, following which the invitation for Lavrov to journey to Pyongyang was given.
The South China Morning Post reported yesterday events leading up to the visit:
The report did not say when Lavrov would arrive in North Korea or the reason behind the visit.
News of Lavrov’s visit follows comments by Russian President Vladimir Putin calling for restraint to keep North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at the negotiating table, and comes as plans for a historic meeting between Kim and US President Donald Trump appear to be progressing.
Vladimir Putin said on Friday that finding a solution to the North Korea nuclear tensions is of great importance to Russia and says North Korea’s sovereignty should be guaranteed.
“A full denuclearisation of North Korea” should involve giving “North Korea a guarantee of their sovereignty and inviolability”, Putin said.
“If you don’t behave aggressively and if you don’t corner North Korea, the result that we need will be achieved faster than many would think, and at less cost.”
Russia’s diplomatic efforts will also follow South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s meeting with Kim on Saturday to discuss the North Korean leader’s possible upcoming summit with Trump, the South said, the second inter-Korean summit in as many months.
The meeting with Trump looked uncertain last week, after a turbulent few days of diplomatic brinkmanship that culminated in a letter by Trump to Kim, saying he would abandon the summit because of Pyongyang’s “open hostilities” towards US Vice President Mike Pence.
Trump then said on Friday that his administration is in contact with North Korea and that a June 12 summit meeting with Kim Jong-un, might still take place.
With Russia having a small border with North Korea, and with increasing bilateral ties with China, the manner in which any peace arrangement is concluded is of much interest for the Russians, who might be part of a security guarantee arrangement for Pyongyang should they follow through on nuclear disarmament.