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N. Korean foreign minister, on Moscow visit, calls for closer Russia ties

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (right) and his North Korean counterpart Ri Yong-ho enter a hall during a meeting in Moscow April 10, 2018. — Reuters pic
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (right) and his North Korean counterpart Ri Yong-ho enter a hall during a meeting in Moscow April 10, 2018. — Reuters pic

MOSCOW, April 10 — North Korea’s foreign minister, on a visit to Moscow, said today that the situation on the Korean Peninsula and world events showed that his country and Russia needed to forge stronger ties.

Ri Yong-ho spoke before holding talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the situation around North Korea’s nuclear and missile programme and tensions involving Pyongyang, Seoul and Washington.

“The current situation on the Korean peninsula and around your country, and the overall international political situation require our two countries to further strengthen friendly cooperation, to increase our strategic communication and coordination of action between our countries,” Ri told reporters.

Ri said he hoped they would find concrete ways to create “a new milestone” this year in their relations.

High ranking North Korean officials have been engaged in a flurry of international diplomacy in recent weeks with the possibility of a meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

The North Korean leader made a surprise visit to China last month for talks with President Xi Jinping in his first known trip outside the North since he assumed power in 2011.

Ri arrived in Moscow yesterday and held talks with Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev about the options for dialogue between Pyongyang and Seoul, TASS news agency reported. — Reuters

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