Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA] Presidium President Kim Yong Nam (Kim Yo’ng-nam) met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of the 22nd Winter Olympics in Sochi on 7 February (Friday). Kim passed along the greetings of DPRK leader Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) to Putin who thanked Kim and asked him to “convey his sincere regard to Kim Jong Un.” According to KCNA, Kim and Putin talked about “the issue of developing the traditional DPRK-Russia cooperative relations in a friendly atmosphere.” On 7 February, Kim Yong Nam also met with Chinese President Xi Jinping, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdork, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev and Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan.
Kim Yong Nam, along with Vice Minister of Kung Sok Ung, DPRK Ambassador to Russia Kim Yong Jae and DPRK officials met with Valentina Matviyenko, Chairwoman of the Russian Federation Council in Moscow on 6 February (Thursday). Also attending the meeting were Russian Vice Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov, Russian Federation Council International Affairs Committee Chairman Mikhail Margelov and other Russian officials. According to KCNA Matviyenko said that “it is the firm stand of Russia to strengthen the traditional Russia-DPRK friendly relations” and that she “hoped that the Korean people would achieve great success in the efforts for building an economic power and improving the people’s living standard under the leadership of Marshal Kim Jong Un.”
According to Russian media, Matviyenko said that “we consider your visit an indication of a serious attitude on the development of bilateral relations with Russia. I am convinced that the friendship and warm relationship between our two countries meet the aspirations of our peoples. However, the events of the first half of last year  and complicated the relations between Russia and the DPRK can not be separated from the resolution of nuclear and missile issues.” Matviyenko also said that Russia is “sincerely interested in the positive evolution of developments on the Korean peninsula and it is important to exercise restraint, preserve the peace and not to take steps that could trigger a new round of tension.” She noted that a DPRK delegation will visit Tartarstan in March 2014 to discuss joint cooperation. Matviyenko told Kim that Russian businesses are “open to cooperation” with the DPRK, that DPRK-Russia trade was $105 million [USD] during 2013 and that the Russia hopes to see the implementation of trilateral projects between the DPRK, Russia and South Korea. “Unfortunately,” Matviyenko said, “the Korean Peninsula remains in an unstable political and military situation which has a serious impact on the implementation of trilateral projects.” She said that Russia will continue to work actively with the DPRK and South Korea and that “I urge you to show maximum restraint and respect stability on the Korean Peninsula.” Kim Yong Nam thanked Matviyenko for her invitation and “that issues of which she spoke were increasingly important to the DPRK, especially DPRK-Russia bilateral relations which have a long history and long tradition.”
On his way from the DPRK to Sochi, Kim Yong Nam stopped in Vladivostok on 5 February (Wednesday) where he met with Primorsky Krai Governor Vladimir Miklushevsky. According to KCNA, Miklushevsky said that he “came to keenly realize the deep-rooted friendship and cooperation between the two countries after looking round the Russia-DPRK friendship house visited by President Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) and leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il) when he went to Khasan some days ago” and that he “vowed to strive to develop economic cooperation and cultural exchange between Russia and the DPRK in the future.”