The Kremlin on Friday verified reports from North Korea that plans are underway for Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to hold a summit later this year.
“Yes, indeed, this meeting may take place, its modalities and time will be further agreed via diplomatic channels,” Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters in Moscow in reaction to a report Friday from North Korea’s state news agency Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). Mr. Peskov’s comments were reported by the Russian state news agency Tass.
According to KCNA and TASS, after talks in Pyongyang on Thursday between Mr. Kim and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Pyongyang — the two countries agreed to hold summit talks to mark the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations. Mr. Peskov added that it was not discussed whether the meetings would occur in Beijing.
The news of a Putin-Kim gathering comes amid intensified talks between Washington and Pyongyang to iron out details for a scheduled US-North Korea meeting in Singapore on June 12 to address North Korean denuclearization.
On Friday, a top aide to Mr. Kim was scheduled to hand a letter from the North Korean leader to President Donald Trump in Washington.
Mr. Kim Yong Chol is the highest-ranking North Korean official to visit the U.S. in 18 years. His trip to the White House is being seen as a highly symbolic sign of easing tensions after fears of war escalated amid North Korean nuclear-weapon and missile tests last year.