North Korea's Kim Jong Un to meet Putin in Russian Federation on Thursday

Clay Curtis
April 23, 2019

State mouthpiece Korean Central News Agency said the visit will happen "soon", but did not elaborate the this or the venue.

With his Russian Federation visit, North Korea's Kim is seen wanting to build up support for his economic development plans, since the breakdown of the second US-North Korea summit in Hanoi in February led to stalled talks with Washington on the sanctions relief Pyongyang had sought.

Bolton is the second, top-ranking USA politician to be criticised by Pyongyang in recent days, after it labelled Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as "reckless" Thursday, demanding his removal from talks over the North's banned nuclear programme.

There are fears that a recent North Korean weapon test and a series of jibes at Washington over deadlocked nuclear negotiations mean that Pyongyang may again return to the nuclear and long-range missile tests that had many in Asia fearing war in 2017.

Since Hanoi, the North has not attended any of the eight regular weekly meetings of the heads of their joint liaison office in Kaesong, and has not taken part in other joint projects, such as excavations in the DMZ.

Russia's Kommersant newspaper reported on Tuesday that the visit was scheduled for April 25 in Vladivostok.

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In its second scathing critique of a high-ranking United States figure in less than a week, Pyongyang has described demands by the U.S. national security adviser, John Bolton, for proofs that North Korea is in the process of denuclearization as "nonsense".

The warning against Pompeo by the DPRK came hours after Pyongyang announced that it had restarted its nuclear weapons program for the first time since the second round of talks between Kim and Trump fell apart on February 27.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (R) meets with his Japanese counterpart Taro Kono in Moscow on January 14, 2019.

South Korea's foreign ministry said it understood the agenda would include Russia-North Korea relations, denuclearization, and regional cooperation.

But Kim's patience appears to be wearing thin.

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