The Russian ambassador to North Korea met with North Korean foreign ministry official Choi Sun Hee, a sign Pyongyang’s efforts at engagement may be taking place with other members of the stalled six-party talks.
Choi, former head of the North America department, met with Ambassador Alexander Matzegora on Monday, when the two sides exchanged views on the situation on the Korean Peninsula, according to the Russian embassy’s Facebook post.
At the meeting held in Pyongyang’s People’s Palace of Culture, a Russian delegation led by the director of Moscow’s Center for Energy and Security Studies attended the meeting with Alexander Vorontsov, the head of the Korean and Mongolian Studies Department at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
The Russian delegation arrived Saturday, according to Yonhap.
Choi, who was promoted to deputy foreign minister, was praised by the Russians who said the North Korean diplomat is poised to “further develop the cooperative relationship” between the two countries.
North Korea’s Choi said in return Pyongyang hopes to “deepen cooperation” with Russia on foreign affairs.
Both sides agreed the easing of tensions on the Korean Peninsula was made possible by North Korea participation in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in the South. They exchanged hopes “Olympic reconciliation” continues in the near future.
North Korea is expected to engage in another round of civic exchange during the upcoming Paralympics in the South.
North Korea’s athletes and delegates, 24 in total, are to arrive Wednesday by a land route, according to South Korean television network SBS.
U.S. President Donald Trump welcomed inter-Korea progress in a tweet Tuesday morning.
“Possible progress being made in talks with North Korea. For the first time in many years, a serious effort is being made by all parties concerned. The World is watching and waiting! May be false hope, but the U.S. is ready to go hard in either direction!” Trump tweeted.
By Elizabeth Shim