See More on Facebook

Diplomacy

North Korea leader arrives in Russia ahead of Putin summit

Kim and Putin are due to meet today.


Written by

Updated: April 25, 2019

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Wednesday arrived in Vladivostok, Russia, a day ahead of his first summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Kim set out for Russia via his private train in the early hours of Wednesday and arrived in the Russian border city of Khasan at about 10:40 a.m., before moving on to Vladivostok, where he arrived some six hours later.

In an interview with Russian media after a welcome ceremony in Khasan, Kim hinted at strengthening cooperation with Moscow in regional security issues.

“I believe (the summit) will be an opportunity for very beneficial conversation in jointly managing and controlling regional issues,” Kim said in the interview.

According to the North’s Korean Central News Agency, the North Korean leader is accompanied by top aides, including vice chairmen of the ruling Workers’ Party’s Central Committee — Kim Phyong-hae and O Su-yong — and Ri Yong-ho and Choe Son-hui.

Ri is the North’s foreign minister and Choe is vice foreign minister. Kim Yong-chol, another vice chairman of the party, was not included among names listed by the KCNA. Kim Yong-chol, the North’s top nuclear negotiator, had accompanied Kim Jong-un on all his previous overseas trips.

According to an official with South Korea’s parliamentary intelligence committee, Kim Yong-chol has been replaced with Jang Kum-chol.

Kim Jong-un’s meeting with Putin is scheduled to be held in Vladivostok on Thursday, and the two leaders are expected to focus on economic cooperation and matters surrounding denuclearization.

According to Japanese news reports citing Russian sources, Putin plans to suggest resuming six-party talks, and that Moscow has conveyed the plans to Beijing and Washington.

Six-party talks — the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the US — were launched in 2003 to resolve North Korean issues. However, the talks were halted in December 2008.

Resumption of the six-party talks would fall in line with Kim Jong-un’s New Year’s speech, in which he said “multilateral negotiations for converting the current armistice into a peace regime must be actively sought.”

Since the second US-North Korea summit ended without making any progress in denuclearization dialogue in Hanoi late February, Pyongyang has been highlighting its ties to Beijing and Moscow.

North Korean media have repeatedly stressed the strength of the regime’s ties with its two traditional allies in recent weeks. The North has also opened a monthlong exhibition in Beijing to mark the 70th anniversary of diplomatic ties with China, and North Korean media on Friday reported on Kim Jong-un’s personal letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping. According to North Korean reports, Kim thanked Xi for congratulating him for being re-elected as the party’s leader, and described China-North Korea relations as being mutually supportive “as members of a family.”

Pyongyang has also made a show of Kim Jong-un attending military events, including a test of a newly developed guided weapons system.

The North reporting on its leader’s military engagements has been interpreted by South Korean experts as a ploy to show Seoul and Washington that it will maintain military readiness and not negotiate from a disadvantage.

As for Kim Jong-un’s itinerary beyond the summit with Putin, details remain unknown but it has been reported the North Korean leader may stay in Russia until Friday, visiting facilities inspected by his protocol chief Kim Chang-son.

Facilities that Kim Chang-son visited include Russia’s Pacific Fleet headquarters, food factories and a public aquarium.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


The Korea Herald
About the Author: The Korea Herald is the nation’s largest English-language daily and the country’s sole member of the Asia News Network.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Diplomacy

Moon faces daunting task to revive stalled nuke talks

After 2 years of peace efforts, tension back on Korean Peninsula with NK-US tug-of-war. Just hours before South Korean President Moon Jae-in was set to appear in his first televised interview with a local broadcaster on May 9 marking his second anniversary of presidency, North Korea fired two short-range missiles. The surprising move came less than a week after it launched multiple projectiles into the East Sea on May 4. During what could have been a celebratory interview looking back on his past two years, Moon warned the North that such military actions would only heighten tensions on the Korean Peninsula. But he appeared cautious to call it a “provocation” and lightly touched on the possibilities of Pyongyang violating inter-Korean agreements and UN resolutions.


By The Korea Herald
May 20, 2019

Diplomacy

Exit polls show Narendra Modi’s coalition set to return to power

Most pre-election surveys had suggested that India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi would return to power. Exit polls predicted Prime Minister Narendra Modi will return to power in a landslide win as curtains came down on the largest democratic exercise in the world. Voters in 59 constituencies voted on Sunday (May 19), ending the seven-phase elections in which 900 million people were eligible to vote. At least four exit polls, which were released half an hour after the voting ended, showed between 286 to 306 seats for the alliance led by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). They pr


By The Straits Times
May 20, 2019

Diplomacy

Can Pakistan play a role in Iran-US tensions

An editorial in Dawn newspaper looks at the role that Pakistan might play in the ongoing tensions. Tensions between the US and Iran, particularly in the Gulf, are rising and the situation has sent alarm bells ringing throughout the region. It is in this context that Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Tuesday that Pakistan was “closely following the situation” and would take a stand “that best served the national interest”. Pakistan is, of course, in a sensitive position as it has decades-old, deep relations with the US, while it shares a long border with Iran. Moreover, this country’s ties with the Gulf Arabs — particularly the Saudis — who are firmly in the American camp, are also cordial and have a strategic and defence dimension. In case of any hostilities


By Dawn
May 17, 2019

Diplomacy

China vows action as US moves to blacklist Huawei

Hopes of a trade deal recede as experts fear American companies could face a backlash. China has slammed the United States for putting technology giant Huawei on an export blacklist and said it will take “all necessary measures” to protect the legal rights of Chinese firms. The latest twist in the face-off between the US and China not only suggests that hopes of a trade deal are fast evaporating, but it could also delay the roll-out of 5G networks worldwide. US technology firms could also face a backlash, experts said. China’s Ministry of Commerce said yesterday that it resolutely opposed any coun


By The Straits Times
May 17, 2019

Diplomacy

Beijing stresses equality in trade talks with Washington

World market confidence dampened by escalation, Chinese state media says. Consultations between China and the United States are not a one-way street, and should be conducted amid a spirit of equality, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Monday in Russia. Wang said that it is pointless for one side to blame the other, or even to absolve themselves from responsibility. Wang stressed if one side is trying to place extreme pressure on the other, it will cause a legitimate counterattack. “The measures from us are not only to safeguard China’s own rights, but to protect the basic rules of the current multilateral trading mechanism,” Wang said. Wang made the remark in a joint news conference with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov during his visit to the Black Sea coastal city of Sochi. Experts warned that the rising US tariffs on Ch


By China Daily
May 16, 2019

Diplomacy

South Korea jobless rate rises to 4.4% in April

Weak job markets and uncertain macroeconomics have contributed to increased unemployment. South Korea’s jobless rate rose to 4.4 percent in April, government data showed Wednesday, in the latest sign of a weak job market amid an economic slowdown in Asia’s fourth-largest economy. The unemployment rate increased 0.3 percentage point from a year earlier, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea. It also marked the highest level for any April since 2000, when the corresponding figure stood at 4.5 percent. The number of employed people reached 27.03 million in April, an increase of 171,000 from the same month in 2018.


By The Korea Herald
May 15, 2019