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Incorrect to link N. Korea’s missile launches to Kim Jong-un’s visit to Russia — Kremlin

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov commented on the relevant statement by US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo

MOSCOW, May 6. /TASS/. It is incorrect to link North Korea’s recent missile launches to Kim Jong-un’s visit to Russia, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

"Making such links is completely incorrect, it can be said unequivocally. That’s all there is to say," Peskov noted, commenting on US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo’s statement linking North Korean leader’s visit to Russia to drills involving new tactical guided missiles, which took place in the country nine days later.

On May 4, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said that North Korea had launched several short-range missiles in the direction of the Sea of Japan. The missiles travelled from 70 to 200 kilometers and fell into the sea.

On May 5, North Korea’s state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said that military drills had taken place on the country’s eastern coast, which were aimed at "assessing [the military’s] ability to handle large-caliber long-range artillery and tactical guided weapons, as well as the accuracy of fire missions and the combat capability of defense units."

The talks between Putin and Kim Jong-un took place in Russia’s Far Eastern city of Vladivostok earlier on April 25. The two leaders thoroughly discussed the state of bilateral relations and the prospects for their future, as well as the situation on the Korean Peninsula, including the denuclearization issue. It was the first meeting between Putin and Kim Jong-un. Following the meeting, the Russian president said that it was interesting to talk to the North Korean leader, while Kim Jong-un described the exchange of views as "very substantive.".