Russian President Vladimir Putin met with a senior North Korean official in Moscow on Thursday and invited North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to visit Russia.
“I would like to re-extend, and ask you to convey to the leader of North Korea Kim Jong Un, our invitation to visit Russia,” Putin told Kim Yong-nam, chairman of the presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly of North Korea, according to a transcript by the Kremlin.
Putin said the meeting could take place during the Eastern Economic Forum in the city of Vladivostok in September this year, or can be organized separately. “We can schedule this meeting regardless of international events between our foreign ministries,” he said.
Putin welcomed the outcome of the summit between US President Donald Trump and Kim in Singapore on June 12, praising “both leaders’ good will,” as well as the contacts between North and South Korea.
“We also welcome and praise the outcome of the meeting between the leader of North Korea, comrade Kim Jong Un, and US President Donald Trump that took place recently,” said Putin. “Now there are prospects of resolving the problems by peaceful political and diplomatic means,” he said.
Putin added that Russia is ready to “make all necessary efforts to establish ties, including in economic cooperation” with North Korea.
Kim Yong-nam conveyed Kim Jong Un’s “sincere regards” and “absolute support of the people of Russia,” handing a personal message to Putin from the North Korean leader.
“Above all, I have the honor to convey to you, with special respect, sincere regards from Chairman of the State Council of the DPRK Comrade Kim Jong-un,” he said.
The senior North Korean official congratulated Putin on his re-election as President and on hosting the 2018 World Cup, calling it “an important opportunity to celebrate the great Russian nation across the world, and also to maintain economic growth and promote physical fitness and sport.”
He added that the North Korean leader has also “put forward a new strategy according to which our country will concentrate all its resources and efforts on economic construction.”
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Russia and North Korea.