Japan reports suspected North Korea sanctions breach

Russia says Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to visit N.Korea on May 31

Lavrov passed greetings from Russian President Vladimir Putin to Kim, saying he wished him success in the "major undertakings that have been initiated on the Korean peninsula", the ministry said in a statement.

The North and Japan held foreign ministers talks back in 2015 on the sidelines of the ARF in Malaysia.

Russia's top diplomat arrived in Pyongyang earlier Thursday, ahead of a landmark summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump.

A source in North Korea's Yanggang Province said the site was a source of fear, because North Koreans anxious their children could be conscripted to serve at the site, where soldiers sometimes returned after being exposed to radiation. The monitoring is part of efforts to maintain pressure on Pyongyang to denuclearize.

Trump told reporters the talks were going well, and that North Korean officials may come to Washington on Friday with a letter from Kim.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga declined to confirm the reports.

Prior to the destruction of tunnels and other buildings at the nuclear test site, observed by invited members of the global media, reports surfaced in April that the Punggye-ri complex had already partially collapsed from the stress of multiple nuclear explosions, possibly making it unsafe for further tests.

Japan has reported a suspected sanctions violation by Pyongyang to the United Nations after spotting an apparent cargo transfer involving a North Korean tanker, the foreign ministry in Tokyo said Tuesday.

North Korea has issued directives to step up propaganda to prevent possible unrest among the public from the unexpected turn of events regarding the planned summit between the United States and the North in June and the destruction of the Punggye-ri nuclear test site, sources inside the country said.

The last ministerial-level talks between Tokyo and Pyongyang were in 2015, also on the sidelines of an Asean meeting.

But he has also said Japan will need to eventually hold direct talks with North Korea to resolve an emotional row over abductions of Japanese nationals by Pyongyang.

The point person for US preparations, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, met with Kim Yong Chol, a top adviser to Kim Jong Un and vice chairman of the Central Committee Wednesday.

Since then, meetings to prepare for the talks have resumed.

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