By Yasunobu Shirouchi in Beijing
North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Ri Kil Song and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov both arrived in Beijing on Feb. 28. It is believed that senior foreign ministry officials of China, Russia, and North Korea, which have friendly relations, are gathering to discuss their response to the situation on the Korean Peninsula in light of a meeting in Washington by the chief negotiators of Japan, the U.S., and the ROK in the Six-Party Talks on Feb. 27. This could be seen as a move to put pressure on Japan, the U.S., and the ROK. Diplomacy among the nations concerned with North Korea issues is likely to gain momentum.
Chinese Foreign Ministry deputy spokesman Geng Shuang disclosed on Feb. 28 that Morgulov exchanged views on the Korean Peninsula situation with Assistant Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou. He announced that Ri will be in Beijing until March 4 to discuss China-DPRK relations and other issues of mutual concern with Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin, and other officials.
The meeting of the Japanese, U.S., and ROK chief negotiators discussed North Korea’s development of nuclear arms and missiles, the murder of Workers’ Party of Korea Chairman Kim Jong Un’s half-brother Kim Jong Nam, and other issues. The three nations agreed to cooperate closely in their response.
It is reckoned that China, Russia, and North Korea will exchange views on how to deal with increasing pressure from Japan, the U.S., and the ROK. China and Russia will also ask North Korea to refrain from further provocations. They will also discuss the outcome of the meetings held by State Councillor Yang Jiechi, who is in charge of foreign affairs, with President Donald Trump and other senior U.S. government officials during his recent U.S. visit.