Vivian Balakrishnan meets North Korean foreign minister in Pyongyang to prepare for Trump-Kim summit

Singapore's Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan (right) is greeted as he arrives in Pyongyang, North Korea. PHOTO: REUTERS
Singapore's Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan meets with North Korea counterpart Ri Yong Ho in this undated photo released on June 8, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

SEOUL - Singapore's Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan held talks with his North Korean counterpart Ri Yong Ho in Pyongyang on Thursday (June 7) to prepare for the US-North Korea summit in Singapore on June 12.

"Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho and his Singaporean counterpart Vivian Balakrishnan exchanged in-depth views on further developing the friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries with a long history and tradition in various fields and on the situation ahead of the DPRK-US summit," the Korean Central News Agency reported on Friday, according to Yonhap News Agency.

DPRK refers to the North's formal name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The report by North Korean state media did not provide further details on the meeting but said the talks "proceeded in a warm and friendly atmosphere."

Dr Balakrishnan is also expected to meet Mr Kim Yong Nam, North Korea's ceremonial head of state, having arrived in Pyongyang on Thursday.

Security and protocol arrangements for next week's summit in Capella Hotel, among other issues, were expected to be discussed during Dr Balakrishnan's meetings.

At the end of his one-day working visit to Washington on Tuesday, he told Singapore media that hosting the summit was "our contribution to world peace".

"I am confident we will do our best as hosts," he said.

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