Monday, June 17, 2024

Preparations for Putin’s visit to N. Korea ongoing: Kremlin

Preparations for Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to Pyongyang are ongoing, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told TASS on Sunday.

“Preparations for the visit are proceeding at their own pace,” he said.

Peskov added Putin’s meeting earlier on Saturday with Natural Resources and Environment Minister Alexander Kozlov, who heads the intergovernmental commission on cooperation with the North Korea, was unrelated to the preparations for the visit.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un invited Putin to visit his country when he traveled to Russia in September. It was reported earlier that the countries would work to set a time for Putin’s trip.

Kim visited Russia amid heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula, which had seen recurring missile launches by Pyongyang as well as military drills involving South Korean and US troops.

Officials in Washington have been claiming for months that Moscow has sought to procure weapons and munitions from the extensive North Korean stockpiles, to use them in the Ukraine conflict. The accusation escalated in July when Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu visited North Korea.

The UN Security Council, which includes Russia as a permanent member, has imposed sanctions that ban arms trade with North Korea. Putin has given an assurance that Moscow was observing existing restrictions.

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