PYONGYANG, Independent Korea – North Korean President Kim Jong-un has expressed to Russian President Vladimir Putin his willingness to cooperate to achieve peace on the Korean peninsula and develop relations between the two countries.
“I am ready to cooperate closely with you to firmly and constructively develop the traditional friendly relations between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Russia, as required by the new era, and to uphold the peace and security of the Korean Peninsula and the rest of the world,” Kim said in a letter quoted by the KCNA.
He also noted that the further development and strengthening of friendly relations between Korea and Russia is of common interest to both States. In addition, Kim wished Putin “health and greater success in his work and responsibility for building a powerful Russia” and “welfare and prosperity” for the Russian people.
The text was a response to Putin’s letter congratulating Kim on his re-election as head of the North Korean State Affairs Commission. At the time, Putin asked Kim’s commitment to “cooperation on bilateral and regional issues”.
The Kremlin said in a statement on its website on Thursday that Putin will meet with Kim Jong-un in Russia at the end of April.
In January, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov told reporters that US Special Envoy for North Korea Stephen Biegun confirmed during talks in Washington that the US sees Russia as indispensable in the process of denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
“Biegun confirmed at the end of our conversation that the United States greatly values the role of Russia and sees us as a vital part of the process of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” Morgulov said.
“We also draw their attention to the need to increase the role of the UN in working on the Korean peninsula,” Morgulov said, after talking to Biegun.
Morgulov also revealed that he told US officials that resolving the North Korean crisis requires a collective effort that includes Russia, China, South Korea and Japan.