Lavrov invites North Korea’s leader Kim to Russia

As US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and a senior North Korean official were set to meet again in New York to put the June 12 Singapore summit between their leaders back on track, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (pictured) on Thursday met Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang and invited him to Moscow.

Lavrov conveyed President Vladimir Putin’s greetings to Kim, wishing him success in his efforts to bring lasting peace in the Korean peninsula.

Lavrov was the first Russian official to be received by Kim. Last month, North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho held talks with Lavrov in Moscow.

On Wednesday, Kim Yong-chol, vice chairman of the ruling Workers’ Party’s Central Committee, had working dinner with Pompeo in Manhattan with barely two weeks left for the summit the world is waiting for. The two had met during Pompeo’s trips to Pyongyang in April and May.

Kim, the highest-ranking North Korean to visit the US since 2000, is expected to carry a personal letter from his leader to Trump. Kim is likely to visit Washington and meet Trump.

Pompeo is scheduled to hold a press conference at the Palace Hotel at 2.15 pm local time on Thursday.

The summit is crucial for North Korea which hopes to get concessions and financial help from the US. For Washington, the meeting with Kim is important as North Korea has completed its nuclear programmes and its ballistic missiles are capable of striking any part of the US mainland.