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Urgent N. Korea sends envoy to Russia

Posted November. 15, 2014 06:09,   


Amid increasing expectations for a South Korea-China-Japan summit, which South Korean President Park Geun-hye has proposed, North Korea said Friday it would send Kim Jong Un’s envoy Choi Ryong Hae to Russia. With South Korea and China announcing a free trade agreement, and getting cozy, the North, jittery about its increasing isolation, appears to have selected a North Korea-Russia summit.

On the pursuit of a trilateral summit, South Korea`s senior secretary for foreign affairs and national security, Ju Chul-ki, said on Friday, "The presidential office is making efforts for such a summit late in December at the earliest. Depending on the foreign ministerial meeting of the three nations, there will be preparations for how and when to hold a South Korea-China-Japan summit." It means that they are pushing for a trilateral summit for early next year immediately following the foreign ministerial meeting, which is a precursor of the summit.

Japanese government spokesman Yoshihide Suga expressed expectations, saying that South Korea, which serves as chair country of the upcoming trilateral summit, could proactively make efforts for a summit.

"Overall, the three nations’ relationship has improved from the previous year, hinting that there is a high likelihood of a trilateral summit," Presidential Secretary Ju told press conference, immediately after arriving at the Australian city of Brisbane where the G20 summit will be held on Saturday and Sunday.

Meanwhile, North Korea`s Korean Central News Agency reported that Choi would visit Russia as an envoy for Kim Jong Un. The Russian foreign ministry said in a media statement on Friday, "Choi will visit Russia for eight days from Monday as an envoy for Kim." Earlier that day, North Korean Defense Minister Hyon Yong Chol who visited Russia on last Saturday proposed an envoy and Russian President Vladimir Putin is known to have accepted. Putin is also scheduled to visit the G20 and accordingly Choi will likely go to Russia next week.