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Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov accepts invitation to visit North Korea

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will visit Pyongyang after accepting a formal invitation from the country's to...

Posted: Apr 10, 2018 1:27 PM
Updated: Apr 10, 2018 1:27 PM

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will visit Pyongyang after accepting a formal invitation from the country's top diplomat, the latest in a series of outreaches by North Korea.

"We are very happy about the invitation which we have received to visit Pyongyang," Lavrov said Tuesday after a meeting with North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho in Moscow.

But there is no word on a possible future summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Lavrov said while there had been no discussions about either leader visiting the other's capital during his talks with Ri, both Kim and Putin "regularly exchange statements."

The long-time Russian foreign minister has previously visited Pyongyang, including in 2009 during an earlier round of negotiations on North Korean disarmament.

No date has been announced as yet for the Russian diplomat's return visit.

During a meeting with Ri on Tuesday, Lavrov said Moscow wanted to develop "good neighborly relations" with Pyongyang, according to Russian state media TASS.

"October will mark 70 years since our countries established diplomatic relations and now our colleagues are agreeing on a program of measures to celebrate this jubilee," he said, according to TASS, adding that Russia would continue "humanitarian assistance" to North Korea.

Lavrov added that Moscow wanted to help with trilateral projects alongside both North and South Korea "as far as (Seoul) are ready for such cooperation."

The invitation to the Russian foreign minister comes amid a diplomatic outreach by Pyongyang ahead of a series of historic summits on the Korean Peninsula.

Kim is scheduled to meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on April 27, the first meeting between the leaders of the divided Koreas in a decade.

Meanwhile, US officials said a meeting between the North Korean leader and US President Donald Trump is being planned for late May or early June.

In a surprising move ahead of the summits, Kim traveled personally to Beijing in a secret visit to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping on March 27, the first time the young ruler has met a Chinese leader publicly.

Ri's visit to Moscow this week included talks on "resolving the situation on the Korean Peninsula," according to TASS, less than a month after he paid an unannounced visit to Sweden.

"The North Korean regime likely wants to show that not only does it have support but make a show of building support from these high-level visits," retired US ambassador William Courtney told CNN earlier.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 248189

Reported Deaths: 5411
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto16841171
Hinds15890312
Harrison13037191
Rankin10439205
Jackson10128177
Lee8721135
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Jones6166108
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Simpson232367
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Clay156732
Stone140218
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Clarke136460
Calhoun133321
Smith118823
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Walthall111136
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Greene108929
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Carroll103721
Lawrence101217
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Kemper75720
Quitman6758
Franklin65315
Choctaw59613
Wilkinson58125
Jefferson53019
Sharkey42417
Issaquena1586
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 417528

Reported Deaths: 6030
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson61313888
Mobile29768542
Madison26637185
Tuscaloosa20580268
Montgomery18696304
Shelby18310113
Baldwin16002179
Lee12261101
Morgan12093112
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Walker5852174
Jackson574441
Blount526483
Colbert525670
Autauga510355
Coffee434256
Dale391081
Franklin363445
Chilton333565
Covington326167
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Escambia312442
Dallas300296
Clarke278233
Chambers277869
Tallapoosa2599107
Pike245829
Marion240549
Lawrence240447
Winston223835
Bibb213047
Geneva197431
Marengo197329
Pickens195231
Hale173742
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Butler167958
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Henry151119
Monroe144417
Randolph138535
Washington136526
Clay125246
Crenshaw118044
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Cleburne116023
Macon113335
Lowndes108735
Wilcox101221
Bullock98128
Perry95419
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Sumter88726
Greene75323
Coosa60414
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