Trump cancels Trump-Kim, Lavrov quickly gets Putin-Kim rolling
When Trump last week canceled the anticipated summit with North Korea’s Kim that was supposed to take place on June 12th, South Korea’s Moon quickly held a second brief summit with Kim to show South Korea still favored talks and disagreed with Trump’s call. Now Russia has joined these efforts.
Sergey Lavrov traveled to Pyongyang, met with Kim and arranged for a Kim-Putin summit to take place in the near future:
Amid efforts to revive the Kim-Trump summit, North Korea continues to seek diplomatic avenues across the region, and is finding other nations a lot more willing to meet for direct talks. Today, Kim Jong-un announced there will be a summit in which he visits Russia, presumably to meet with President Vladimir Putin.
This announcement was the product of a visit by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to Pyongyang to meet Kim. This was the first time Kim had met a Russian official in person. Lavrov invited Kim to visit Russia during these talks.
Lavrov’s visit itself was the result of North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho visiting Moscow to meet with Lavrov about the possibility of talks last month. As with China and South Korea, diplomatic overtures have borne fruit quickly.
China and Russia originally went along with added UN sanctions on Pyongyang but following North Korean diplomatic overtures to the US Trump no longer has South Korean, Chinese or Russian support for a hard line against it. Any further move against the North would have to be unilateral with the US being the one whose actions are not understood in Moscow, Beijing and Seoul.
Perhaps this is part of the reason why Trump has already reversed himself since May 24th cancellation in signaling that behind-the-scenes talks have since resumed.