Russia, N. Korea in talks to set up Kim’s visit: Russian parliamentary leader

SEOUL, Oct. 5 (Yonhap) — Russia and North Korea are in talks to set up a visit to Russia by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the speaker of Russia’s upper house of parliament was quoted as saying Friday.

Russian Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko made the remark during a brief chat with South Korea’s chief presidential security adviser Chung Eui-yong while waiting for a meeting with President Moon Jae-in at Cheong Wa Dae, according to presidential officials.

Matviyenko was quoted as saying that she had visited the North at the instruction of President Vladimir Putin and held a meeting with the North’s leader, and that the two countries are discussing dates and venues of Kim’s visit to Russia.

The speaker visited the North to attend the Sept. 9 anniversary of the North’s founding anniversary. Her remarks could be seen as suggesting that Kim’s visit to Russia could take place before the end of the year.

North Korea was also a key topic of Matviyenko’s meeting with President Moon.

Moon expressed gratitude for Russia’s consistent support for Seoul’s efforts to realize the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninisula. Moon also said Russia is a very important partner in the Korean Peninsula peace process.

Matviyenko agreed on the need for peaceful denuclearization, and stressed that the North cannot denuclearize unilaterally and the international community should take corresponding measures in exchange for denuclearization.

She praised Moon’s third summit with the North’s leader last month as a great success. She said Russia believes the nuclear issue must be resolved through dialogue and diplomacy and that patience is necessary to push the forward peace process, according to officials.

Matviyenko also said that after a meeting with the North’s leader, she started to believe that Kim is serious about his commitment to peace and denuclearization.

The two sides also exchanged views on trilateral economic cooperation involving the two Koreas and Russia, such as an ambitious project to connect the Trans Siberian Railway to the Trans Korean Railway, officials said.

Matviyenko said that Putin plans to visit South Korea next year.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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