MOSCOW, Russia – Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov told reporters that US Special Envoy for North Korea Stephen Biegun confirmed during talks in Washington that the US sees Russia as indispensable in the process of denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
“Today, Biegun confirmed at the end of our conversation that the United States greatly values the role of Russia and sees us as a vital part of the process of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” Morgulov said on Friday.
In addition, Russian diplomats have told US officials that the UN must play a greater role in resolving the nuclear crisis in the region, according to Morgulov.
“We also draw their attention to the need to increase the role of the UN in working on the Korean peninsula,” Morgulov said, after talking to Biegun.
Morgulov also revealed that he told US officials that resolving the North Korean crisis requires a collective effort that includes Russia, China, South Korea and Japan.
Finally, Morgulov stressed that the US-Russia dialogue on North Korea could improve relations between Washington and Moscow.
“I think the dialogue we have on North Korea can have a positive effect and contribute to improving the general atmosphere and the general state of Russia-US relations,” Morgulov concluded.
For almost a decade, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the secret services of North Korea have held secret negotiations, according to sources in The Wall Street Journal.
According to the issue, through confidential channels, both nations have helped in times of stress, including contributing to the historic summit last year in Singapore between US and North Korean leaders Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, respectively.
“The reason for using a channel among intelligence agencies was that in the event of some kind of crisis, this would be able to provide the ability to reach people of authority in the [North Korea] system,” said Daniel Russel, the former a senior official at the State Department and the US National Security Council.
The newspaper writes that relations included secret trips by senior CIA officials to Pyongyang in 2012, and that the stealth channel was established during the presidency of former US President Barack Obama. However, in the last years of his Administration, the negotiations became inactive.
Later, when current US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was director of the CIA, the channel was “revitalized,” and he sent an agent to a meeting with North Korean spies in Singapore in August 2017.
Several public and private meetings have been held between Washington and Pyongyang since the beginning of last year with the help of the confidential channel, which was especially important for the Donald Trump-Kim Jong-un summit in Singapore.
A senior Trump Administration official told the media that this was the only reliable channel of communication on most of the key issues, adding that he was where the North Koreans felt comfortable.
On Jananuary 18, it was announced by the White House that both nations could hold a second summit in late February in the Vietnamese capital, Hanoi.