North Korean negotiator heads to Russia
A high-ranking North Korean official with long experience in nuclear talks left Tuesday for Russia, state media said, as the communist state steps up a diplomatic offensive after months of tension. First vice foreign minister Kim Kye-Gwan was leading a delegation en route to the Russian capital, the official Korean Central News Agency said in a brief report. A weekend report from Russia's RIA Novosti news agency said Kim would discuss a possible resumption of talks about ending the North's nuclear programme. In Moscow, Kim will meet Russia's First Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov and Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov, it said. The trip comes as North Korea reaches out internationally after months of high tension triggered by its third nuclear test in February. Kim was a key figure in earlier six-party talks aimed at persuading his country to abandon its atomic weapons programme.