Oleg Burmistrov, Russia’s ambassador-at-large, met Choe Son-hui, director-general of the North American Department of North Korea’s Foreign Ministry in the Russian capital on Friday. They met behind closed doors.
The talks lasted for almost five hours, RIA Novosti’s correspondent reported from the scene.
Commenting on the issue on the eve of the meeting, Heather Nauert, US State Department spokesperson, said that Washington “can’t see that as a bad thing.”
“Diplomacy is our preferred approach. If Russia can be successful in getting North Korea to move in a better direction, we would certainly welcome that,” she told journalists on Thursday.
Also on Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova confirmed that the Russian and North Korean officials would meet to discuss the crisis.
Zakharova, however, declined to provide any further details, saying that the Russian Foreign Ministry would release a statement after the meeting.
The Moscow talks come as North Korea and the US continue to exchange barbs, threatening military responses.
In one of his latest statements on the crisis, US President Donald Trump said that Washington was prepared to strike North Korea if necessary with “devastating” consequences for the country.
On Sunday, North Korea released a doctored video in which a missile “destroys” US B-1B and F-35 jets, while a submarine targets America’s aircraft carrier USS ‘Carl Vinson.’
Russia and China are attempting to ease tensions between the states, calling for dialogue and stating that military options should be ruled out. They have long been pushing for a ‘double-freeze’ plan, in which Pyongyang suspends its nuclear and ballistic missile tests in exchange for a halt in joint US-South Korea military exercises. However, the US has rejected the proposal.