Seoul: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is set to visit Moscow for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin later in November, the South Korean Ambassador to Russia said on Monday.
The specific dates of Kim’s Russia visit were not announced but Woo Yoon-keun said it was likely to happen later this month.
“Russia has asked for Kim’s visit within this year and expects it to happen. But North Korea seems to be weighing the time and place while looking into the agenda and possible agreements with Russia,” Woo was cited as saying by Yonhap news agency.
“With Kim’s visit to South Korea also planned this year, North Korea appears to be dwelling long on the time of his Russian trip,” he said.
Kim is also expected to visit Seoul before the end of 2018, which would make him the first North Korean leader to set foot in the neighbouring country.
According to experts, the visit could take place in the first week of December.
The two possible meetings will take place before the second summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump on North Korea’s denuclearization process.
Kim had decided to end Pyongyang’s isolation earlier this year and declared that he wanted to work towards achieving peace on the Korean Peninsula and sign a peace treaty with South Korea.
The two Koreas have been technically at war for over six decades as the Korean War in the 1950s had ended with an armistice and not a peace treaty.
Woo added that Putin was also set to visit Seoul in the first half of 2019.
The details of the visit would be finalized soon with Moscow, where Seoul is likely to push for a free trade agreement between the two countries, he added.
In June, Putin and South Korean President Moon Jae-in had agreed to initiate a dialogue for signing of the treaty.