North Korea envoy praises 'landmark' meeting with Putin

Choe Ryong Hae (right), a close aide of North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un, meets with Russia's President Vladimir Putin in Moscow in this Nov 18, 2014, photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Wednesday. -- PHOTO: REUT
Choe Ryong Hae (right), a close aide of North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un, meets with Russia's President Vladimir Putin in Moscow in this Nov 18, 2014, photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Wednesday. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

MOSCOW (AFP) - A special envoy of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Thursday praised his landmark meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, expressing hope that the two nations would strengthen ties.

On Tuesday, Putin held talks with envoy Choe Ryong Hae during the high-ranking North Korean official's week-long visit to Russia.

"I had the honour of having a meeting with President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and passing him a personal message from the respected comrade Kim Jong Un," Choe said at the start of talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

He said he hoped the passing of this message would strengthen personal ties between the two leaders.

"We had a substantial and landmark meeting," Choe added, noting they discussed economic cooperation and ensuring "stability and peace in the region".

"I am especially happy to visit Russia at a time when there have been unprecedented successes and constructive measures in Russian-Korean ties," he said, without elaborating.

Choe's Russian trip comes at a sensitive time, with the United Nations this week adopting a landmark resolution laying the groundwork for putting the Stalinist regime in the dock for crimes against humanity.

Along with China, Russia voted against the resolution on Tuesday. The non-binding measure will go to the full General Assembly for a vote next month.