01:05 GMT +320 September 2018
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    North Korean leader Kim Jong-un during a military parade marking the 105th birthday of Kim Il-Sung, the founder of North Korea, in Pyongyang

    North Korean Leader Kim Confirmed Readiness to Visit Russia - Matvienko

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    PYONGYANG (Sputnik) - North Korean leader Kim Jong-un confirmed his readiness to visit Russia, Speaker of the Russian Parliament's Upper House Valentina Matvienko told reporters adding that the timing and place of the visit would be clarified through the diplomatic channels.

    Speaker of the Russian Parliament's Upper House Valentina Matvienko has met with Kim in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang.

    "Kim said that that he confirmed his readiness and will to make an official visit to Russia. He said that the did not want to delay [the visit] and the work on coordination of place and timing of this visit will start via diplomatic channels now. He said that the bilateral meeting with the Russian president was very important for him, they had to discuss the strategy and prospects of our cooperation as well as a number of the important, serious issues of the international agenda," Matvienko said.

    Matvienko pointed out that during the talks with Kim she handed Russian President Vladimir Putin's letter to Kim.

    "I fulfilled the order, submitted a letter by Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin," the speaker said.

    READ MORE: North Korea Could Formally End War With South Without US Troop Pull Out — Report

    During the meeting with Matvienko Kim confirmed the importance of the Russian role in settling the Korean nuclear issue.

    "He [Kim] pointed out that Russia played a very important role in the political and diplomatic settlement of the Korean Peninsula's nuclear issue. [Kim added] that our approaches were similar," the speaker said.

    Matvienko said that the talks with Kim had lasted for more than an hour and were held in a friendly manner with the North Korean leader has noted that he would preserve the traditions of friendship with Russia.

    North Korean Leader Committed to Korean Reunification

    North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is committed to the reunification of the two Koreas, Valentina Matvienko noted.

    "The North Korean leader is committed to moving in this direction, toward the unification of the two Koreas. But this is, once again, a two-way street. There is an understanding that some regional players and some players outside the region are not interested in the unification of the two Koreas, as somebody wants to use it as a means for manipulation and for maintaining positions in the region," Matvienko stated.

    The Russian lawmaker added that North Korea needed motivation in order to progress to denuclearization.

    "We share this point of view, we believe that motivation should be created, and the aspiration of the [North] Korean leader, people and country to move toward denuclearization should be encouraged in every way," Matvienko said.

    READ MORE: North Korea Rejects All US Denuclearization Proposals — Reports

    North Korea's position is clear as they have made two serious steps, showing that their intentions to eliminate nuclear weapons and stop the nuclear programs are very serious, Matvienko stressed.

    "But reciprocal steps should be made then. It is not possible for the document signed [following the North Korean-US summit in Singapore] to be implemented by one party only, so they are of course negotiating with the US side so that there is some movement toward each other, so that the accepted obligations are fulfilled step by step, so that there is understanding that there cannot be any quick decisions there, as it takes patience, demeanor, a long time and the obligations' fulfillment by the other side," Matvienko said.

    She went on to voice her concern over "intensification of unilateral sanctions" by the United States.

    Eastern Economic Forum

    Speaking further, the senior official said that the North Korean leader would not be able to take part in the Eastern Economic Forum in the Russian city of Vladivostok.

    "Yes, we have discussed the possibility [of Kim's participation in the forum]. But due to his busy, tight schedule in September, and the scheduled inter-Korean negotiations, although he personally would really want to, he won't be able to take part. However, a North Korean representative delegation, comprised of seven people and headed by the minister of external economic relations, will certainly take part," Matvienko said.

    The event is scheduled for September 11-13.

    Related:

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    Tags:
    visit, diplomatic relations, Valentina Matvienko, Kim Jong-un, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), Russia
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