all eyes on the korean peninsula
Russia's foreign minister meets with Kim Jong Un as U.S. and Pyongyang work to salvage Kim-Trump summit
After a 90-minute dinner in New York on Wednesday night, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and high-ranking North Korean official Kim Yong Chol will have a second round of talks on Thursday morning to work on a denuclearization framework ahead of an on-again, off-again June 12 summit in Singapore between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. South Korea has been integral in laying the groundwork for a Kim-Trump summit, and Chinese President Xi Jinping has hosted Kim twice as Beijing staked its claim in the prospective peace talks. On Thursday, Russia stuck its toe in, too.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met with Kim and North Korea's foreign minister, Ri Yong Ho, in Pyongyang on Thursday, following Ri's May trip to Moscow. The official reason for the visit was to discuss bilateral issues, North Korea's nuclear program, and the situation on the Korean Peninsula, but it was widely "seen as an attempt by Moscow to make its voice heard in its neighbor state's new push for diplomacy," The Associated Press reports. "Despite having a border with the North and relatively cordial relations that President Vladimir Putin has seemed to want to develop further, Russia has so far remained largely on the sidelines as Kim has emerged onto the world stage this year."