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 UnHong Kong protests present Trump, Xi with painful choices North Korea launches missile tests, insults South Korean president Trump crosses new line with Omar, Tlaib, Israel move MORE will reportedly meet with Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinSunday shows - Recession fears dominate Bullock: Putting Cuccinelli in charge of immigration 'like putting Putin in charge of election security' Chris Wallace becomes Trump era's 'equal opportunity inquisitor' 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 TrumpO'Rourke: Trump driving global, U.S. economy into recession Manchin: Trump has 'golden opportunity' on gun reforms Objections to Trump's new immigration rule wildly exaggerated MORE and Kim, the two leaders’ second meeting on denuclearization.  Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick ShanahanPatrick Michael ShanahanWhy Dave Norquist is the perfect choice for DOD's deputy secretary Five questions for Trump's new defense secretary on first major tour Trump says media is part of vetting his nominees: 'We save a lot of money that way' 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 PompeoLatest pro-democracy rally draws tens of thousands in Hong Kong 63 killed in blast at Afghan wedding as Taliban, US negotiate troop withdrawal Trump meets with national security team on Afghanistan peace plan 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.