Lavrov, Pompeo Discuss Solution to Korean Peninsula Problems

Lavrov, Pompeo Discuss Solution to Korean Peninsula Problems

Monday, 18 June, 2018 - 17:30
Unification flags hang on a military fence near the demilitarized zone (DMZ) separating the two Koreas in Paju, South Korea January 19, 2018. (Reuters)
Asharq Al-Awsat
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discussed in a telephone call on Monday North Korea and efforts to resolve problems in the Korean Peninsula.

The exchange comes six days after US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made history held a summit in Singapore in an unprecedented encounter that saw the two leaders shake hands.

Lavrov and US Secretary of State Pompeo discussed the "task of consolidating efforts towards a solution to problems of the Korean peninsula," the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement on its website.

On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated an invitation for Kim to visit Russia as he was hosting North Korea's ceremonial head of state Kim Yong Nam.

Putin said he would be happy to welcome Kim to Russia, suggesting they meet during an economic forum in the far eastern port city of Vladivostok this September.

Lavrov and Pompeo also discussed "the calendar of political contacts between Russia and the US in the near future," according to the foreign ministry statement.

Earlier, Seoul and Pyongyang agreed to form unified teams for some sports at the upcoming Asian Games -- a move which highlights the rapprochement on the peninsula that began with the Winter Olympics.

At their historic summit in April, Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in had agreed to joint participation in "international sports events such as the 2018 Asian Games".

Officials from the two Koreas met at the border truce village of Panmunjom on Monday and reached several agreements aimed at strengthening sporting ties.

"The South and the North agreed to march together at the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2018 Asian Games... and to form joint teams for certain sports," said a joint Seoul-Pyongyang statement released by the South's sports ministry.

The games will be held in the Indonesian capital Jakarta and in Palembang from August 18 to September 2.

The athletes from the Koreas will march under a neutral Korean peninsula flag and under the "Korea" name, the statement said.

They will also hold a friendly basketball match -- proposed by Kim, a fan of the sport, at his summit with Moon -- in Pyongyang on July 4 and another in Seoul in the autumn.

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