Kim Jong-un, Putin in constant contact

February 13, 2015
Vladimir Putin, left, and Kim Jong-un. (Korea Times file)

Vladimir Putin, left, and Kim Jong-un. (Korea Times file)

By Kim Hyo-jin

Russia’s top envoy to North Korea said in a media interview that Pyongyang and Moscow regularly exchange messages.

“An active political dialogue is maintained at the highest level between Pyongyang and Moscow,” Russia’s Ambassador to North Korea Alexander Matsegora said during an interview with Itar Tass. “Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin exchange messages on a regular basis.”

Matsegora was appointed Russia’s ambassador to North Korea in December, replacing Alexander Timonin, who came to Seoul last month as Moscow’s new top envoy to South Korea.

Itar Tass reported the ambassador also expressed hopes to further improve bilateral relations in 2015, the year of friendship between Russia and North Korea.

“I believe a lot can be done to improve Russia-North Korea ties, considering unused potential,” Matsegora said, adding that hopes are pinned especially on economic cooperation.

He added that the priority is on the trade between Russian goods and investment and North Korea’s mineral resources.

His remarks came amid media reports that Pyongyang-Moscow relations have gotten closer since South Korean President Park Geun-hye took office.

Earlier this week, North Korea’s Foreign Minister Lee Su-yong expressed hopes to strengthen ties between Pyongyang and Moscow in 2015, marking the 15th anniversary of North Korean-Russian ties.

In a letter sent to his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, on Monday, Lee suggested that two nations designate the year 2015 as the year of friendship between North Korea and Russia.

North Korea has increasingly put effort into tightening its relations with Russia from last year.

Choe Ryong-hae, a high-ranking member of the ruling Workers’ Party, visited Russia as North Korea’s special envoy in November.

Last month, the Russian presidential office confirmed that North Korea’s leader will attend Moscow’s war anniversary in May. The Kremlin earlier sent an invitation to North’s leader, Kim Jong-un.

The heads of state from about 20 nations are expected to join the ceremony to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory in World War II.

Meanwhile, President Park Geun-hye, one of those invited, is mulling over her potential attendance to the event.

Since Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invitation, Cheong Wa Dae has reviewed Park’s possible attendance, but has yet to confirm it.

Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se said it will be decided at the very last phase in the run-up to the ceremony in a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, Sunday.

While her possible meeting with Kim at the event could help her find a breakthrough in inter-Korean relations, the absence of U.S. President Barack Obama remains a sticking point.


  1. Kseniya

    March 3, 2015 at 11:51 AM

    How long is it going to take before world leaders (the West) gets wise to Putin’s tactics? He “uses” people like Syria’s dictator al-assad just as he uses Russian-Seperatist in the Ukraine and as he plans to do with Kim Jon here- – as PUPPETS! He plans to get them to “fight his battles” while he looks on “innocently” from the grandstands saying “No I didn’t have no part in that!” (i.e. sending weapons to assad to fight the Syrian Opposition (FSa), to the sepratists to fight in Ukraine, and for Kim Jong Ung to possibly one day in the future Nuke US?!! Then turn around and say “No I didn’t have no part in that?!” If no no one has noticed, this is his tactic of war aggression, one in which “the enemy” cannot be seen, or held accountable when he denies (lies) about involvement!

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