High-level exchanges between N. Korea, Russia hit record high this year

SEOUL, The number of exchanges between high-level officials from North Korea and Russia has reached a record high this year, Seoul’s unification ministry said Monday, marking another indication of the deepening ties between the two nations.

According to the ministry, there have been 18 exchanges involving officials of the vice-minister level or higher between the two countries in 2024, surpassing the total of 18 exchanges recorded for the entire year of 2019, the ministry said, citing information disclosed by both nations.

The exchanges include North Korean Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui’s meeting with her Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, in Moscow in January, and Vice Public Security Minister Ri Song-chol’s visit to Moscow on June 11.

Among the 18 high-level exchanges this year, 15 involved North Korean officials visiting Russia, the ministry said.

North Korea and Russia have been strengthening military ties and broadening cooperation in various fields following the summit between the North’s leader K
im Jong-un and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Russia’s Far East last September.

A South Korean presidential official indicated that Putin is expected to visit North Korea “in a few days.” Meanwhile, Japanese broadcaster NHK reported that Putin might travel to North Korea “as early as next week” as part of a tour that includes a stop in Vietnam.

Moscow, however, declined to comment on the exact date of the visit.

Source: Yonhap News Agency