Kim to meet with Putin as tensions with US rise

Kim to meet with Putin as tensions with US rise
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North Korean leader Kim Jong UnKim Jong UnTrump says 'I have confidence' after past North Korea missile tests Trump aide: North Korean missile tests violated UN resolutions North Korea: Nuclear talks with US won't resume without new approach MORE will reportedly meet with Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinTrump's nastiest break-ups: A look at the president's most fiery feuds Russia's dangerous new ploy: US trading Ukraine for Venezuela Trump's rejection of the Arms Trade Treaty Is based on reality MORE during a forthcoming visit to Russia.

Kim intends to visit the Russian Federation at Putin’s invitation by the end of April, according to the Associated Press, citing the Kremlin and North Korea’s state-owned Korean Central News Agency.

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The announcement comes as Russia is seeking increased access to North Korean mineral resources while Pyongyang seeks electricity supplies and Moscow's investment to modernize its infrastructure, most of which was built by the Soviet Union, according to the AP.

U.S.-North Korea relations, meanwhile, have shown signs of strain in recent months. Last week, North Korea conducted its first weapons test since the failure of a February summit between President TrumpDonald John TrumpPapadopoulos on AG's new powers: 'Trump is now on the offense' Pelosi uses Trump to her advantage Mike Pence delivers West Point commencement address MORE and Kim, the two leaders’ second meeting on denuclearization.  Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick ShanahanPatrick Michael ShanahanTrump defense pick expected to face tense confirmation Iran slams US troop deployment: 'Extremely dangerous' for Middle East peace Overnight Defense: 1,500 troops heading to Mideast to counter Iran | Trump cites Iran tensions to push through Saudi arms sale | Senate confirms Army, Navy chiefs before weeklong recess MORE emphasized that the test did not violate either United Nations sanctions or a testing moratorium Trump and Kim agreed to because the weapon was not a ballistic missile.

Also last week, North Korean officials reportedly said they no longer want to negotiate with Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoVenezuelan government, opposition to meet in Norway for talks O'Rourke: Trump 'provoking' war with Iran by sending troops to Middle East Trump aide: North Korean missile tests violated UN resolutions MORE in nuclear discussions, saying that whenever Pompeo “pokes his nose in, talks between the two countries go wrong without any results even from the point close to success.”

Kim has reportedly been optimistic about continued progress in talks with the U.S., however, saying earlier this month that he expects the nations to reach a nuclear deal by the end of the year.