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Russian FM Lavrov arrives in North Korea before Trump

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Staff Writer | May 31, 2018
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov arrived in North Korea Thursday, according to state-run media, as Pyongyang continues to engage in talks with major regional powers.
Sergey Lavrov
Asia   Lavrov arrived in North Korea Thursday
Lavrov becomes his country’s first foreign minister to travel to the North in nine years, but he did host his North Korean counterpart Ri Yong-ho in Moscow this April.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry earlier announced the two top diplomats would be discussing developments on the peninsula as well as other matters of bilateral concern.

North Korea appears to be boosting ties with friendly neighbors, as Chairman Kim Jong-un has been to China on two occasions since March, having never been abroad before in his capacity as leader.

Meanwhile, Pyongyang has been holding direct dialogue with its stated enemies South Korea and the United States, even promising to pursue peace and denuclearization.

Kim’s outreach is set to escalate further if he holds an unprecedented summit with U.S. President Donald Trump as planned on June 12 in Singapore, though Trump’s erratic cancellation and then uncancellation of the meeting has thrown it into doubt.

Onlookers suggest the North may be seeking economic relief, having faced years of escalating sanctions – especially since Trump took office last year.