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(LEAD) N. Korea, Russia agree to strengthen cooperation at strategic dialogue

All Headlines 22:58 November 21, 2019

(ATTN: ADDS Choe's meeting with Russian deputy defense minister in 6th para)

SEOUL, Nov. 21 (Yonhap) -- North Korean First Vice Foreign Minister Choe son-hui, considered a key nuclear strategic of leader Kim Jong-un, has met with Russian officials and agreed to strengthen cooperation between the two countries from a "strategic view point," Pyongyang's state media reported Thursday.

Choe met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on Wednesday and talked about "developing, from a strategic view point," the North Korea-Russia relations that are "facing a new golden age," according to the Korean Central News Agency.

Choe also held "strategic talks" with Russian First Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov the same day and exchanged views on "regional and international issues of mutual concern."

"In the strategic talks, both sides discussed the issues of further developing the friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries by thoroughly implementing the agreements reached at the historic DPRK-Russia summit meeting," it said.

DPRK stands for the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Choe also met with Col. Gen. Alexander Fomin, Russia's deputy defense minister, and they discussed bilateral cooperation and topics of mutual concern, according to the ministry's website.

Choe arrived in Moscow on Tuesday for the first round of strategic dialogue between North Korea and Russia, which was launched after the first summit between Kim and Russian President Vladimir Putin in April.

Her trip comes amid Pyongyang's ramped up pressure on Washington to come up with a new proposal for their denuclearization negotiations that remain stalled since the breakdown of the Hanoi summit between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump in February.

The two sides held their last working-level talks in Stockholm in early October, but the meeting ended without much progress, with the North accusing the U.S. of failing to come up with a new proposal.

North Korean First Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui speaks to reporters in Moscow on Nov. 20, 2019, after meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. (Yonhap)


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