Korea JoongAng Daily reports that a senior North Korean diplomat who oversees American affairs arrived in Moscow Tuesday, in what appears to be Pyongyang’s effort to find an exit from intensifying global isolation after carrying out a sixth nuclear test earlier this month.
Choe Son-hui, director of the North American Department at North Korea’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, told reporters waiting in the airport that she “came to negotiate with the Russian Foreign Ministry,” adding, “It’s normal negotiations.”
Choe didn’t give any further explanation about her visit, but North Korea’s state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) earlier reported that she was invited by Oleg Burmistrov, Russia’s ambassador at large, who’s also the Kremlin’s deputy nuclear negotiator.
Citing unidentified US officials, the Washington Post reported last week that Russia invited Choe to “feel out Pyongyang as to a possible resumption of dialogue between the United States and North Korea.”
Russia might be trying to get involved in back-channel diplomacy between Pyongyang and Washington, the sources said.