United States special envoy to North Korea Stephen Beigun is slated to pay a visit to Russia on April 17-18 in order to hold discussions with his Moscow counterparts over complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
In an official statement, the US state department stated: “Beigun will travel to Moscow on April 17-18 to meet his Russian officials to discuss efforts to advance the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea.”
According to ANI news reports, Beigun’s visit to Moscow comes ahead of the first-ever summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, that has been scheduled to take place next week in Vladivostok.
The Russian foreign ministry has said on Tuesday that it was long preparing for a summit between Kim and Putin, further triggering speculations Kim intends to secure Moscow’s backing in his sanction relief bid aimed lack of nuclear progress with US President Donald Trump.
Kim’s government official was quoted by state-run Yonhap news agency as saying, “Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to make a trip to the far east region around April 12. Chances are fairly high that a summit between Russia and North Korea could take place around the time.”
The senior officials of Russia and North Korea are reportedly travelling to each other’s nation to initiate the preparation of the summit. Russian interior minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev had earlier this month paid a visit to Pyongyang.