North Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui left for Moscow on Monday to probably discuss her country’s efforts to negotiate an agreement with the United States, Japan’s Kyodo News reported.
Choe is leading the North Korean side in negotiations that the United States hopes will lead to the dismantling of its nuclear and missile programs in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.
The talks have made little progress since the second summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un failed in Vietnam in February, despite the two leaders agreeing in June to resume it.
North Korean media did not mention Choe’s visit to Russia
Choe may be looking to discuss US negotiations during her visit to Russia, which has been involved in efforts to pressure North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons, Kyodo news agency reported, without giving a source. Russia has been engaged for years in so-called six-party talks that failed in 2008.
North Korea announced this month its rejection of a US offer for further talks, saying it was not interested in holding them if it was to “appease us” ahead of a year-end deadline given by Kim to the United States for more flexibility.
North Korea wants the sanctions lifted, while Washington insists that Kim first dismantle its nuclear weapons program.