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Colin Zwirko is an NK News correspondent based in Seoul.
A top Russian diplomat agreed in a series of meetings in Pyongyang this week to continue cooperation over the now-stalled negotiations with the U.S. as well as “trilateral projects” and others reached at the recent DPRK-Russia summit.
In a press statement released on Friday, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) reported on meetings between vice foreign minister Igor Morgulov and three counterparts with the DPRK foreign ministry.
Morgulov reportedly discussed the “situation around the Korean Peninsula” in his meeting on Thursday with Choe Son Hui, where “an agreement was reached to continue strengthening cooperation” on the issue.
Choe is believed to be leading the current negotiations process with the U.S. opposite the State Department’s Special Representative for North Korea policy Stephen Biegun.
On Friday, Morgulov discussed with Im Chon Il implementing agreements reached between Russian President Vladimir Putin and DPRK leader Kim Jong Un during their summit in Vladivostok on April 25.
The readout also said that Morgulov and Im reaffirmed their commitment to cooperation in other areas including “implementation of trilateral projects on the Korean Peninsula” — a reference to much-discussed plans between Seoul, Pyongyang, and Moscow.
Prior to landing in the North Korean capital on Wednesday, Morgulov stopped in Beijing to meet with his Chinese counterpart Luo Zhaohui, where DPRK issues were the primary topic of discussion, according to both countries’ foreign ministries.
The Chinese MFA said in a statement that the two in their Tuesday meeting agreed to “enhance communication and coordination” and that things are “still on the right track [for a] political solution.”
“It is hoped that all parties concerned, especially the [DPRK] and the [U.S.] will meet each other halfway, show flexibility and remain committed to resolving each other’s concerns through dialogue and negotiation,” the statement read.
Im previously met with Morgulov in Moscow in late June, holding follow-up talks on items coming out of the Kim-Putin summit including on “intensifying economic and cultural cooperation,” according to North Korean state media.
Economic cooperation was also discussed in the Russian capital in mid-July, following up on both the summit and the “Intergovernmental Committee (IGC) on Cooperation in Trade, Economics, Science, and Technology” held in Moscow in March.
North Korean state media has yet to report on the details of Morgulov’s talks in Pyongyang this week.
Featured image: KCNA