Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is slated to meet next week with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for the first time ever.
It’s not yet clear where the two will meet.
There have already been a number of visits by high-ranking officials between the two countries. A memorandum of understanding on economic and political cooperation was also recently signed between the two as well.
Russia also functions as a conduit for messages between South Korea and the North, with communications going to the Kim government via the Russian and Chinese embassies in Seoul.
The meeting comes about six weeks after a second summit between the North Korean leader and U.S. President Donald Trump ended in failure, with Trump walking out of the meeting much earlier than planned. Officials on both sides have since begun to explore the possibility of scheduling a third summit but no date has yet been set.
U.S. special representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun travels to Moscow this week for meetings in advance of the Putin-Kim summit. He’s likely to underline the importance of complying with United Nations Security Council sanctions imposed on North Korea while assessing the political climate ahead of Putin’s visit with Kim.
“The United States is committed to working with interested parties, including Russia, on the robust and sustained implementation of U.N. sanctions in order to move forward with denuclearization,” a State Department official told ABC News.