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Japan to monitor situation after reports of Kim Jong Un’s possible visit to Russia

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Tokyo: The Japanese government will be closely monitoring the situation and working with the international community and the United States against the background of media reports of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s possible visit to Russia, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said Wednesday.

“We are aware of such reports. [The United Nations] Security Council resolutions completely prohibit the transfer of arms or materials for their production from North Korea. We plan to monitor this issue closely with a high degree of concern, including the possibility that violations [of the resolutions] may take place,” Matsuno told a news conference when asked to comment on the reports.

He added that Tokyo “will continue to maintain close contact with the international community and primarily with the US on this issue.”

The New York Times reported Monday, citing US and allied officials, that North Korea’s leader plans to visit Russia in September to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin and discuss military cooperation.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Tuesday that he could not confirm media reports about the possible meeting between Kim and Putin in Russia in the near future, adding that he had “nothing to say on this topic.”

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