North Korea’s Kim Yong Nam meets Putin in Sochi
North Korean Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly of North Korea Kim Yong Nam met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi on Friday, state media outlet the Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Saturday.
Kim, who is taking part in the opening ceremony of the 22nd Winter Olympic Games as an honorary guest, left for Russia on February 5 despite North Korea’s failure to qualify for the Winter Olympics.
Kim conveyed greetings from North Korea leader Kim Jong Un to the Russian president, who expressed his thanks and asked Kim Yong Nam to convey his regards to Kim Jong Un, the KCNA reported.
The KCNA said that Kim talked with the Russian president about further developing the long-standing DPRK-Russia relations.
Kim Yong Nam has been meeting important figures since he arrived in Russia. Beginning with Valentina Ivanovna Matvienko, chairwoman of the Russian Federation Council, on February 6, Kim then met Xi Jinping, president of the People’s Republic of China on February 7. In addition, Kim separately met Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Armenian President Serge Sarkissian and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
Kim’s trip to Russia is considered part of North Korea’s efforts to improve its relations with other nations, the South Korean broadcaster MBN argued on Sunday.
The visit to Russia was specially requested by North Korea even though no North Korean athlete has qualified for the Winter Olympics for the first time in 12 years.