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North Korea nuclear crisis

Kim Jong-un tells Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov he is committed to denuclearisation

Lavrov visited North Korea as the US negotiates the organisation of the Kim-Trump summit, which has been on rocky ground in recent weeks

PUBLISHED : Friday, 01 June, 2018, 3:10am
UPDATED : Friday, 01 June, 2018, 9:14am

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov he was committed to denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, the official KCNA news agency reported Friday.

“Kim Jong-un said that the DPRK’s will for denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula still remains unchanged and consistent and fixed,” KCNA reported after their meeting in Pyongyang on Thursday.

Kim hoped US-North Korean relations and denuclearisation of the peninsula “will be solved on a stage-by-stage basis” and “he hoped that the solution of the issues will progress through effective and constructive dialogue and negotiation”, the report by the North Korean news agency said.

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Lavrov’s visit came as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and a top North Korean official held talks on planning a historic summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump in Singapore.

Russia has appeared to be on the fringes of a flurry of international diplomacy as North Korea and the United States have taken steps to set up talks aimed at ending years of tension over Pyongyang’s nuclear programme.

Lavrov on Thursday passed on good wishes to Kim from Russian President Vladimir Putin and invited him to visit Moscow, television footage showed.

“Come to Russia. We would be very happy to see you,” Lavrov, seated across a table from Kim, said.

He expressed Moscow’s support for the declaration between North and South Korea last month in which they agreed to work for the denuclearisation of the peninsula.

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Kim told Lavrov that he hopes to boost cooperation with Russia.

“As we move to adjust to the political situation in the face of US hegemonism, I am willing to exchange detailed and in-depth opinions with your leadership and hope to do so moving forward,” Kim told Lavrov.

Lavrov also held talks with his North Korean counterpart, Ri Yong-ho, in what was his first trip to North Korea since 2009, Russian news agencies said.

He said Moscow hoped all sides would take a delicate approach to possible forthcoming talks on a nuclear settlement on the peninsula and not try to rush the process.

“This will allow for the realisation not only of the denuclearisation of the whole Korean peninsula but also to provide sustainable peace and stability across northeast Asia,” Lavrov was quoted as saying by his ministry.