A senior Russian minister is visiting Pyongyang amid speculation that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un may travel to Russia soon.
Choe Pu-il, head of the North’s Ministry of People’s Security, held talks with Russia’s Minister of Internal Affairs Vladimir Kolokoltsev in Pyongyang on Tuesday, the North’s state-run media reported.
The two exchanged views on how to develop the friendly relations between their agencies and issues of mutual interest, the Korea Central News Agency said.
The Ministry of People’s Security also held a welcome banquet for Kolokoltsev and his party, the KCNA added.
Kolokotsev, who arrived in Pyongyang on Monday, met with the North’s titular head of state Kim Yong-nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly, on Tuesday, and handed him a gift for the country’s leader Kim Jong-un, according to the KCNA.
Russia’s state-run news agency TASS said that Kolokotsev explained to Kim Yong-nam about his government’s security management during the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Sochi.
On April 1, TASS reported, citing a source in the Russian Embassy in Pyongyang, that Kolokoltsev’s visit to the country is a planned exchange between the two countries’ law enforcement authorities as a delegation from the Ministry of People’s Security had invited the Russian minister to Pyongyang during their visit to Moscow in December.
Kolokotsev’s trip comes amid speculation that Kim Jong-un may be preparing to visit Russia to meet with President Vladimir Putin.
Kim Chang-son, de facto chief of staff to Kim Jong-un, recently wrapped up his seven-day visit to Moscow and Vladivostok. On Monday, Oleg Melnichenko, head of a friendship group of lawmakers from the two countries, said Kim Jong-un may visit Russia in the near future.
The North told Kolokotsev on Tuesday that it will send delegations to international events held in Russia this year such as the Moscow Conference on International Security and the Eastern Economic Forum, according to TASS.
By Kim So-hyun (email@example.com)