Senior North Korean officials visit Moscow infrequently but the isolated country is trying to counter a U.N. resolution urging Pyongyang’s referral to the International Criminal Court for alleged crimes against humanity.
The Kremlin gave no details of Putin’s meeting on Tuesday with Choe Ryong Hae, a close aide to Kim and a senior official from the ruling Workers’ Party who is a seven-day trip to Russia.
But receiving the credentials of North Korea’s new ambassador to Russia, Putin said during a televised Kremlin ceremony: “We maintain friendly relations with one of our neighbors, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
“A further deepening of political ties and trade and economic cooperation is definitely in the interests of the peoples of both countries and ensuring regional stability and security,” he said.
A Russian Foreign Ministry source told Interfax this week that the visit would include discussion of bilateral ties, economic developments and North Korea’s nuclear program but made no mention of the U.N. resolution.