Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov visited the North Korean capital Pyongyang by plane on Thursday, his first trip to the country since April 2009.
During his stay, Lavrov is expected to hold talks with North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho over issues such as bilateral relations and recent developments on the Korean Peninsula.
Lavrov’s visit comes as North Korean and U.S. officials are accelerating the pace of their preparations for a summit between their leaders that may still happen next month, despite being canceled once.
The Russian minister’s visit to North Korea also marks the first since the country’s current leader Kim Jong Un came to power in 2011. Russia is a traditional ally of North Korea, along with China.
Lavrov may stay in the capital for two days, according to the North Korean Embassy in Moscow.
During his visit to Moscow last month, Ri held talks with Lavrov and invited him to North Korea. Lavrov at the time floated the possibility of a summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Kim sometime in the future.