Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has confirmed North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will visit Moscow to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the near future.
“There is no clarity now. The contacts have been ongoing through diplomatic channels. Indeed, this visit is on the agenda and there was an invitation. We hope that in the near future the exact date and venue will be agreed on through diplomatic channels,” Peskov told reporters, reported Russian state news agency TASS.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said earlier that Kim Jong-un had been invited to visit Russia. Various options for a summit were under discussion until the end of 2018, including on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum in Russia’s Far Eastern city of Vladivostok in early September 2018. Russian authorities have stated on many occasions they are ready to welcome the North Korean leader any time convenient for him.
Russian Federation Council (the upper house of parliament) Speaker Valentina Matviyenko said following her visit to Pyongyang in late 2018 that the North Korean leader had expressed readiness to visit Russia, wrote TASS.
North Korea has long been a Soviet, and then Russian satellite. In fact, North Korea is an offshoot of Stalinist Russia. The Putin government is most likely concerned about loss of influence on the regime as the personal relationship improves between U.S. President Donald Trump and the Dear Leader Kim Jong-un.
On Monday, Russian media reports said members of a parliamentary group that deals with Russia’s relations with North Korea will visit Pyongyang on April 12, reported Al-Jazeera.
Kim seems to be jockeying for his best position.