Anchor: Speculation is increasing that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Russian President Vladimir Putin could hold their first ever summit next week. U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun will visit Moscow on Wednesday, possibly to discuss the summit and the enforcement of sanctions against the North.
Albert Kim has more.
Report: Amid reports that a summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Russian President Vladimir Putin is imminent, U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun will be in Moscow this week to discuss the North's denuclearization.
The U.S. State Department said on Tuesday that Biegun will meet with Russian officials in Moscow on Wednesday and Thursday to discuss "efforts to advance the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea."
The special envoy is expected to explain the stalled negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang after their failed second summit in Hanoi and ask for Moscow's cooperation in the enforcement of sanctions against the North.
Biegun is also expected to discuss Kim and Putin's meeting, which is speculated to be held in Vladivostok next week.
According to diplomatic sources, Putin will likely take a trip to the Far East region that borders North Korea before he attends the One Belt, One Road Forum in Beijing from April 26 to 27. It is possible that Putin could meet Kim before the forum.
KBS has also learned that North Korea's national flag carrier Air Koryo is scheduled to fly an extra flight to Vladivostok from Pyongyang next Tuesday.
The prospect of a summit has been rising after senior officials from the two countries were spotted traveling to the capitals of the respective countries. Kim Jong-un's de facto chief of staff, Kim Chang-son, visited Moscow and Vladivostok in March, while Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev took a trip to Pyongyang earlier this month.
After the North and the U.S. ended their second summit without a deal in Hanoi in February, the North has been expected to strengthen ties with its two staunchest allies, China and Russia.
Albert Kim, KBS World Radio News.