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Russian Top Diplomat Meets North Korean Leader, Vows Support

SEOUL, South Korea – Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has met North Korean chief Kim Jong Un, Russia’s international ministry mentioned on Thursday, as the 2 nations forge nearer ties within the face of what they see as a hostile and aggressive U.S.-led Western camp.

Russia’s state-run TASS news company reported that Lavrov’s assembly with Kim had lasted over an hour however the ministry didn’t present additional particulars.

Lavrov, who arrived in Pyongyang on Wednesday, earlier thanked North Korea for backing Russia’s army actions in Ukraine and pledged Moscow’s ‘full assist and solidarity’ for Kim, Russia’s international ministry mentioned.

Lavrov’s go to is seen as setting the stage for a go to by President Vladimir Putin, who has stepped up cooperation with politically remoted North Korea.

Speaking at a reception hosted by the North on Wednesday, Lavrov mentioned Moscow strongly valued Pyongyang’s ‘unwavering and principled assist’ for Russia within the Ukraine conflict, which it calls a ‘particular army operation.’

‘Likewise, the Russian Federation extends its full assist and solidarity with the aspirations of the DPRK,’ Lavrov mentioned, in response to the transcript of the speech launched on his ministry’s web site. DPRK are the initials of the North’s official title, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

After talks with North Korean Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui, Lavrov later informed reporters that elevated army actions by the United States and its allies Japan and South Korea had been a trigger for concern, Russia’s state-run RIA news company reported.

The U.S. and South Korean navies on Thursday joined these of 4 different nations – Canada, Belgium, New Zealand and the Philippines – for an anti-naval mine train off South Korea’s south coast, the South Korean defence ministry mentioned.

A U.S. B-52 bomber made a uncommon touchdown in South Korea Thursday to underline the 2 nations’ alliance towards North Korea’s rising nuclear threats, South Korea’s army mentioned.

In his feedback, Lavrov mentioned North Korea, China and Russia had been pursuing a coverage of looking for to ease regional tensions.

North Korean state media mentioned Lavrov’s go to would mark a ‘important event’ in additional consolidating relations between Pyongyang and Moscow.

Photos launched by the Russian international ministry confirmed Lavrov being greeted by individuals holding flowers and flags of the 2 nations upon arrival.

Increased contacts

Lavrov’s two-day go to comes a month after North Korean chief Kim made a uncommon journey to Russia, throughout which he invited Putin to Pyongyang and mentioned army cooperation.

Russia’s TASS news company mentioned Lavrov may also temporary North Korean leaders on the outcomes of Putin’s go to this week to China.

A U.S. think-tank mentioned on Tuesday that satellite tv for pc photos confirmed continued exercise round a North Korean port close to Russia, indicating no less than six journeys by sea between the 2 nations since late August.

The shipments between the port of Rajin and Russia’s Dunai re probably associated to the switch of North Korean munitions to Russia, the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) mentioned.

Separately, a North Korean cargo-passenger ferry that had carried international vacationers from Japan or South Korea was seen at a drydock on the similar port this month, most certainly for upkeep, CSIS mentioned.

It was not clear whether or not the vessel can be used to complement commerce exercise between Russia and North Korea, it mentioned.

The White House mentioned final week that North Korea had not too long ago supplied Russia with a cargo of weapons in what it known as a troubling improvement. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov mentioned the Western allegations weren’t based mostly on proof.

South Korea and the United States have expressed concern about elevated exchanges between Russia and the North, and the allies have stepped up army drills along with Japan in response to the risk from North Korea.

South Korea has urged Russia to adjust to United Nations resolutions in its exchanges with North Korea, a South Korean international ministry spokesperson informed a briefing on Thursday.