North Korea does not want to talk with US Secretary of State Pompeo, but with Russia. Ruler Kim plans to meet with Russian President Putin later this month, the Kremlin confirmed.
While tensions between North Korea and the US continue to increase, the regime under Kim Jong Un seeks proximity to one of the few allies: this month, North Korea’s head of state wants to travel to Russia for a summit with President Vladimir Putin.
Speculation about where and when
The Kremlin officially announced that Kim would be expected in Russia in the second half of April at the invitation of Putin. However, the specific date and location of the meeting remained open. The media speculated that the summit could take place in Vladivostok, near the Russian-North Korean border. As a possible date, the media suspected the 23rd or 24th April.
It would be the first time that Kim and Putin personally
getting together. The last meeting between a Russian and a North Korean head of state took place in 2011, between Kim’s father Kim’s Jong Il and then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
Russia also calls for denuclearization of North Korea
During the course of the day, US Special Envoy Stephen Biegun, responsible for North Korea, and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov met in the Russian capital, Moscow. Both sides had again underlined the common goal of a complete denuclearization of North Korea, it said after the meeting from the US Embassy in Moscow.
The issue of nuclear disarmament in North Korea was also the key issue at the two summit meetings between Kim and US President Donald Trump in June 2018 and February this year. While in the past year, the signs were approaching and Kim had been open in principle for the denuclearization, the second summit was canceled without result. Since then, tensions between the US and North Korea have been steadily increasing.
Pompeo was an „immature“ negotiating partner
Most recently, the regime under Kim demanded that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo be replaced as a key negotiating partner in the conflict over nuclear disarmament. Pyongyang was dissatisfied with the way Pompeo was conducting the negotiations. He was „rash and immature“ and interfere with the talks between the two countries, it said from the North Korean Foreign Ministry.
In the event of a possible resumption of the dialogue, the government therefore wishes another interlocutor. It needs someone who can communicate „more cautious and mature“.
No one can foresee developments on the Korean Peninsula unless the US abolishes the main reason that led the North to develop its nuclear program, the state agency KCNA quoted a high-ranking State Department official. He did not comment on it in more detail.
New weapon type tested
Kim had given the US until the end of the year to set mutually acceptable conditions for a nuclear deal. On Wednesday North Korea tested according to own data a new tactical guided missile, which could transport a „powerful warhead“. Experts wondered what type of weapon it might have been. Both the demand for a replacement of Pompeo and the weapons test make Pyongyang’s displeasure with the stalled negotiations clear.