September 8, 2018 / 11:56 AM / 15 days ago

Russian lawmaker - North Korea's leader confirmed readiness to visit Russia: RIA

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Kim Jong Un has confirmed his readiness to visit Russia, the RIA news agency quoted speaker of the upper house of the Russian parliament Valentina Matvienko as saying after she met the North Korean leader in Pyongyang on Saturday.

The chief of South Korea's national security office Chung Eui-yong meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang, North Korea. The Presidential Blue House /via REUTERS

Kim “wants peace”, Matvienko said after the meeting, which lasted for more than an hour. The timing and place of Kim’s visit will be agreed via diplomatic channels, the Russian lawmaker added.

“He confirmed he is ready and willing to make an official visit to Russia,” RIA quoted Matvienko as saying.

“He said he does not want to delay (the visit).

“He said: meeting the President of Russia is very important to me, we should discuss the strategy and prospects of our cooperation, I of course would also like to discuss a number of important questions of the global agenda,” she said.

Matvienko also said she had passed a message from President Vladimir Putin to Kim. She did not provide further detail.

Kim will not able to attend a forum in Russia’s far eastern city of Vladivostok next week but will send a delegation of North Korean officials, Matvienko said.

North Korea is in talks with the United States about a step-by-step execution of commitments reached when Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump met at a summit in Singapore in June, another news agency, Interfax, reported, citing Matvienko.

Reporting by Polina Devitt; Editing by Catherine Evans

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