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Russia’s Lavrov will visit North Korea on Wednesday after trip to China

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will visit North Korea on October 18-19 after his trip to China, Moscow’s foreign ministry said on Monday.

“On October 18-19, at the invitation of the ministry of foreign affairs of [North Korea], the Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov will pay an official visit to [North Korea],” the ministry said in a statement.

Ties between Russia and North Korea have warmed ever since the rare summit between North Korean President Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow in September.

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Kim and Putin discussed military cooperation, the war in Ukraine and potential Russian support for North Korea’s satellite program. Kim also met with Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and discussed military cooperation and exchanges between the two countries’ armies while they took a tour of Russian weapons systems and vessels.

US and South Korea have expressed concerns over the possibility that North Korea may supply Russia with weapons and ammunition to be used in the war on Ukraine. Washington has threatened to impose sanctions on either country should it send weapons to the other.

Meanwhile, on Monday, Lavrov arrived in China starting his visit to Beijing which will host its third Belt and Road international forum, state news agency TASS reported.

Lavrov discussed the Israel-Hamas deteriorating conflict playing out in Gaza with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing as well as the Ukraine war.

“A thorough exchange of views took place on a wide range of international and regional problems, including the sharply deteriorated situation in the Middle East,” the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement carried by TASS.

During the talks, the two ministers also discussed the war in Ukraine. “The foreign affairs ministers discussed the Ukrainian crisis, including efforts to resolve it through political and diplomatic methods,” the Russian ministry said.

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