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Russia calls for 'trust building' between U.S., North Korea

By
Elizabeth Shim
Igor Morgulov, Russia's vice foreign minister, said Moscow seeks the resumption of dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang. File Photo by Yonhap
Igor Morgulov, Russia's vice foreign minister, said Moscow seeks the resumption of dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang. File Photo by Yonhap

Nov. 20 (UPI) -- Russia is urging enhanced cooperation between the United States and North Korea as a senior North Korean diplomat met with officials in Moscow.

Pyongyang's First Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui, a veteran diplomat on North American affairs, was in Russia Tuesday and Wednesday, Russia's Tass news agency reported.

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Russian Vice Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov told local reporters Choe was in Moscow at the invitation of First Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Vladimir Titov.

Morgulov said Choe was in Russia to discuss and coordinate on "international relations and regional issues from a strategic standpoint," according to Tass.

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Morgulov added Russia seeks the resumption of dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.

"Peaceful dialogue can only solve the problem between the two countries, and the important thing is to build trust," the Russian diplomat said.

North Korea has said this week it is prepared for a third official summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, but that it was not interested in offering concessions.

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On Tuesday, Morgulov suggested U.S.-North Korea talks, and meeting Kim's deadline, could be necessary for Pyongyang to stay on the course of reduced provocations.

"I remember North Korea's chairman of the state commission Kim Jong Un said before the start of 2020 that North Korea could consider changing routes if there was no significant progress," he said. "I hope there will be no need to change routes."

Morgulov also said Russia is "coordinating a new way of resolving the Korean Peninsula issue with China" and that the strategy will be shared with North Korea and the United States.

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Russia and North Korea are expected to exchange information and views on denuclearization negotiations with the United States, according to Yonhap.

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